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Project Information

I am Scout Leader with my son's Boy Scout Troop and as part of our big field day to recruit the older Cub Scouts into our Boy Scout Troop, I arrange a small woodworking project for the Cub Scouts (ages 6-11) to do. The Boy Scouts run the event, with adult supervision, and help the Cubs make the project do all the other fun events on our town green. There are lots of traditional scout skills like axe and saw, flag ceremonies, etc. too. We then camp out in tents on the town green. It's a lot of fun.

The first year, the Cubs made simple catapults. Last year, they made rubber-band powered cross-bows that shoot rolled up tissues. This year we made Kazoos.

A kazoo is a musical instrument that you hum or sing into and it has a resonator of some kind to make your voice sound like an instrument. These have a body that is made from 2x construction lumber milled down to 1 1/4 square by 3 1/2 long. I drilled two holes through the length of the body, a 1/4 hole at output end, and 1/2 hole at the end you hum or sing into. I also made little 3/16 thick parts to cover the top hole and hold the little piece of plastic bag onto the kazoo.

The Cub Scouts drilled a 1/2 cross hole in the middle of one side using a brace and bit since they can't use power tools (2nd photo). They then add a little piece of grocery bag plastic and nail on the predrilled 3/16 thick keeper part to hold it on. I also carved a stamp with the Troop number and we ink stamped each one.

I made 75 blanks for the body of the kazoo (3rd photo) out of 2x pine and around 100 blanks for the thin keeper piece (4th photo). I drilled the body blanks the same way I drill pen blanks for the lathe, using a right-angle jig on the drill press. To ease the corners of the body where you put your mouth, I used a jig suggested by one of our other leaders on the stationary belt sander: the body fits over a dowel held at an angle over the belt and the part is rotated to knock off the corners (5th photo). This worked great. I used another jig (last photo) to drill the thin keeper parts; one part of the jig was for drilling the 1/2 center hole and then the dowel was used to drill two small holes to start the brads in-you drill one hole, spin the part and drill the other hole. It worked great!

This was a very successful project and a lot of Cub Scouts left happily humming away into their new kazoos. Several of the Boy Scouts wanted to come over and make a kazoo too, so they had some fun as well.

Gallery

Comments

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10 Posts
That's a great project! I remember when I was in Cub Scouts and we made our pinewood derby cars. These are the sorts of projects that stick with kids. It sure got me interested in woodworking!
 

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Great project for a great cause. I too fondly remember Cub Scout projects and helping recent generations of Cub Scouts. Keep up the valuable contributions to our youth.
 

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Great project for a great group of kids. Good way to get them started on woodwork, I still remember
getting the boys qualified for their toten chip, required before they could carry or use a knife, hatchet or
ax at a scout function and teaching them how to sharpen the above items. Thank you for your contribution
to the Boy Scouts and for sharing this project.
 

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Outstanding project! I also loved being in Cub Scouts & Boy Scouts when I was a kid. And it's people like you, that give your time, energy & talent, to make it possible. Bravo Sir, I salute you.
 

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The first I was ever grounded was caused by my our KAZOO build in Cub Scouts,
That was 60 years ago…Weblos
 

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Great project! I'll have to do this with my den!
 
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