Project ideas for Boy Scouts

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Forum topic by MikeUT posted 07-31-2017 03:23 PM 648 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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204 posts in 2415 days

07-31-2017 03:23 PM

A local Boy Scout troop asked me to teach them the basics of woodworking and help them build a project. It will be easy to teach them the basics through the merit badge requirements.

The hard part is deciding on a project. The boys are between 12 and 15 and have little to no experience. I won’t have them use the table saw or any other dangerous tools, just the basics. I’ll have them come over 4-6 times over a few weeks so it doesn’t have to be something that you have to be able to finish in one day. My shop is outfitted fairly well, I don’t think I’m limited by the tools I have. (Table saw, band saw, planer, drum sander, lathe, routers, power/non-powered hand tools.)

What type of projects are good for younger teenagers? I’d like it to be something that is fairly easy so they can do most of the work but also something that will last a few weeks. Any input is greatly appreciated.

5 replies so far

View Bill Berklich's profile

Bill Berklich

1179 posts in 1444 days

#1 posted 07-31-2017 06:47 PM

Hi – I’m a Scoutmaster and I usually start them on Bat Houses, Bird houses, and Bird Feeders. They are easy to make, they can cut, drill, sand, nail, stain/finish. Not sure what all you have but they can easily use a bandsaw with a 1/4” 10TPI blade and they really cannot hurt themselves. oscillating belt sander, drill press, brad nailer or hammer and nails, glue, clamps, and paint. For a birdhouse/feeder they can cut roof sides bottom to length, cut the end gables and set and bevel the sides to match. 1×4 for the ends, sides and bottom and cedar siding for the “roof”. Your choice on the perch – a dowel or a 3/4”x3/4” strip nailed to the bottom. Caulk to seal the roof peak.

You can get fancy and have the older Scouts use a router table to dado the sides and or bottom. And or have them carve their name or a Fleur de Lis in the back. Younger boys can use colorful paints to decorate.

If the older guys finish up fast I then stick them on a simple open box 3”x4”x6” using 1/4” poplar from HD. Accuracy is key in doing a box like this and they really struggle to get it assembled.

-- Bill - Rochester MI

View Woodknack's profile


13552 posts in 3436 days

#2 posted 07-31-2017 07:34 PM

Beer tote.

Kidding. But a tool tote or simple tool box would be my recommendation. Everyone can use a box and the skill to build one relates to many other things. In my scouting days we made a valet/desk organizer thing using a router and it sucked. 14 yo boys have no use for something like that. This book by Jim Stack has several simple tool boxes and is well written with material lists and plans. My brief review of it.

-- Rick M,

View KelleyCrafts's profile


4457 posts in 1795 days

#3 posted 07-31-2017 08:42 PM

Tool tote is simple and they can use it forever.

Bird/bat house is good but I doubt it will excite them or give them the woodworking bug.

Don’t hesitate to teach them to turn. That’s a lot of fun for the kids. I do a lot with my son’s pack. Candle holders for mom. A vase for mom. Bowls for their change. Magic wands for the younger ones. It’s endless and easy enough to give them the bug.

-- Dave - - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

View bondogaposis's profile


5978 posts in 3407 days

#4 posted 07-31-2017 09:01 PM

Chuck box.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Just_Iain's profile


331 posts in 1472 days

#5 posted 07-31-2017 09:09 PM

I’d second the Chuck box. Plus there are lots of design variations so each group can select their own project. Pull in parent volunteers and put out a request on Lumberjacks for volunteers to help.

-- For those about to die, remember your bicycle helmet!

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