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Thread: Need simple project idea for Boy Scout woodworking merit badge project

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Yakima, WA

    Need simple project idea for Boy Scout woodworking merit badge project

    I have been asked to be the woodworking and woodcarving merit badge counselor for my son's Boy Scout troup. Their ages average about 12 years old. Last night we started with shop first aid, forestry practices, sawmilling, and wood identification. Next week we're going to cover sharpening and proper handling of hand tools. Then we're going to start on a flatwork project. They are also each going to turn a slimline pen. So, I'm looking for ideas for the flatwork project. I want to keep it relatively simple in that it can be done with the purchase of maybe a couple 1x8's so that the cost stays low. I don't have a problem with them using the bandsaw, slcs, and any handtools. Any body have any suggestions?
    Last edited by Jerry Ingraham; 02-03-2012 at 12:58 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Reno NV
    Bird Feeders? Bird Houses? I was crazy about bird feeders when I was a kid... Plenty of room for creativity too....
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Chiloquin, Oregon
    Brent beat me to it! Bird Houses and let them get creative, cause they certainly will. Russ

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Indianapolis area
    A small book rack made with had cut mortise and tenon joints to hold the ends in place.


    "Individual commitment to a group effort--that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work."
    Vince Lombardi

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Foot stool.
    It could be worse You could be on fire.
    Stupid hurts.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    Open-topped tool box?

    Although I think the bird house or feeder would offer more room for creativity.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    GTA Ontario Canada
    Jerry kudos to you for taking on this role and doing what you do for the kids.

    I like Vaughns idea simply because i did the same thing with a bunch of cubs before and the feedback was unbelieveable. Many of the parents told me the kids were so proud to have their own toolbox.

    But that was a younger group.

    I think if you could add to the complexity of the toolbox idea proportional to the age group then it could be a winner but certainly the bird houses allow for a great deal of creativity.

    As to the creativity side have you guys been through the Scout Truck races. Its the step up for the older boys from the cub car races. ?

    Keep up the good work. Best of luck in the choice

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Emporia, KS
    Just the ramblings of a former teacher.

    I am assuming that your goals are to teach them how to use the tools and to learn the process of making a project. Any of the projects mentioned would be good to accomplish those goals.

    I would have them do identical projects because:
    1. You know the exact the amount of material needed.
    2. You know which tools they will learning about and using.
    3. They will learn from each other as they go thru the process.
    4. You have some control over the process and maintaining your sanity.

    Creativity is good, but I don't think it is what you want at this stage. If everyone is doing something different, they will run you ragged answering questions. Learn the tools and process first and then insert the creative aspect.

    This works for high school students as well.

    Good luck,
    Last edited by Wayne Eikenberry; 02-03-2012 at 02:09 PM. Reason: Spelling edit

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Thomasville, GA
    A birdhouse was suggested and I have a plan for a bluebird house. I found it online when looking for what specs for bluebirds. The plan I found was a little rough and I re-drew it in SketchUp. Here's a graphic of it along with a link to the SU file from my website.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Although this is a fairly simple design, that's what bluebirds like. It incorporates some simple angles and bevels. It might look like the sides and top don't match up but that's to allow for ventilation. The top is held in place by the beveled cleat attached to the back board which is used to mount the house. It has one screw in the center front to hold it to the front so it can easily be removed for cleaning. It's important that the hole in the front be as shown to keep larger birds out. I used cedar so it will weather well; all components will come from a five-foot long 1 by 6. I suppose one could get a bit creative with the mounting board by extending it and adding some shape to it.
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member
    Member of Mensa
    Live every day like it's your last, but don't forget to stop and smell the roses.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    falcon heights, minnesota
    how about serving trays, with hand cut dovetails....
    benedictione omnes bene

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