Learn how to work with tools
Wide range of abilities, obtaining adequate supervision, making a mess, inexpensive materials,
This badge will be a favorite, but requires a lot of preparation. Some projects, like leather work and cardboard, can be held at your regular meeting place. Others, like woodworking, should be held in a shop or garage where the sawdust can be contained easier. Because every Cub wants to do something, you'll need a large supply of hammers or set up cutting, sanding, nailing, and gluing stations. Have small groups rotate around as the work progresses. If everybody is starting fresh, you may need a second project to keep all boys busy. An adult helper or guide with each group or an adult supervisor at each station are both good methods. Remember, everyone is included in the clean-up.
Collection of materials will be a challenge. Check with local companies for wood scraps. Plywood is usable for most projects, but solid lumber such as pine is better for some cutouts. Hardwoods like oak, ash, and walnut are too hard for most Cubs to cut and shape; they may get frustrated. When hardwoods are needed, precut and rough sand them in advance, leaving the finishing work to the Cub.
For leather crafts, check with companies for scraps that the boys can cut and tool. 6" square or round pieces of Masonite make good work surfaces for cutting and stamping operations.
First projects should be simple. Key chains are easy and make good gifts.
Clay projects are good for gifts and puppet heads that can be used for work in the Showman badge.
Try a ceramic shop for advice and possible help with glazing and firing.
The Craftsman is a multi-meeting project, and the Cubs may also do a lot of work at home. The Cubs require a lot of supervision and help on most projects. Plan one adult for every two or three Cubs. Remember that tools used correctly are safe, but the incorrect use of tools can have serious consequences!
The set aside both November and December for the Craftsman activity badge. Your best friends during this time are the boys parents. Who can resist a trip down to the local hardware store to get just the right tool for the job. Remember also that these projects are just in time for Christmas.
There are a lot of suggestions in the Webelos book for easy to medium hard projects. Experience has shown that boys this age are very eager to start cutting, hammering and gluing but don't know how to use the tools properly. Most have never used a coping saw or hammer before.
Begin by explaining how to safely use the tools that you will need to do the project. Next demonstrate on a scrap piece of wood or plastic how to properly use each one. You will be very surprised to see how hard it really is to use a coping saw, if not properly done. This demonstration will save you a lot of time later on when the boys begin cutting on their projects. Let each boy try it on the scrap wood.
Cut bottom from 3/4 inch pine and six sides
from 1/4-inch scrap.
Cut 2 inch wide strips from a tin can. Smooth sharp edges with file and emery paper. Be careful with tin edges.
Use grid method to enlarge Pedro pattern to about 7-by-6 inches.
Trace on 1/2 inch plywood or scrap and cut with coping saw. Paint as desired.
Here are some tips to help you get started: