Cub Scout Wood Projects: Build a Chest

Cub Scout wood projects - chestI love that we build Cub Scout wood projects at our day camp.  The boys get to use tools that many of them have never used before.  And they are creating something that is a lasting memory of their day camp experience.

Our Cub Scout wood projects vary in difficulty depending on rank. The Tigers build a birdhouse, and the Webelos 2s build a chair.  If a boy comes to day camp every year that he is eligible, he’ll have five different projects.

With 200 boys coming to our camp, running the wood shop requires lots of volunteers.  We’re fortunate to have Boy Scouts from our local troops who help us.  We send many of them to the wood shop!

Here’s a list of the Cub Scout wood projects by rank:

Adventures Involving Building

In the 2015 Cub Scout program, there are two adventures that involve building something out of wood. Even though the other ranks aren’t completing adventure requirements by making a birdhouse or tray, they are working on skills that will be important for them in the future.

Bear Elective Adventure: Baloo the Builder 3: Assemble your materials, and build one useful project and one fun project using wood.

Webelos/AOL Elective Adventure: Build It 2: With the guidance of your Webelos den leader, parent, or guardian, select a carpentry project and build it.

Chest Plans

You can download the instructions and the accompanying diagram by clicking on these links.

Chest Project Instructions

Chest Diagrams

Chest Costs

I calculated the cost of the project by using the Home Depot online prices available through my affiliate link (at no extra cost to you). I used the best price available.

Buy Online, Pick Up in Store. Now available at a H

  • 182″ of 1″ x 8″ pine – $12.59
  • 78″ of 1″ x 4″ pine – $5.07
  • 8″ of 1″ x 2″ pine – $0.48
  • 76 – 8d nails – $1.52
  • 3 – 3d nails – $0.02
  • 4 – 2″ screws – $0.12
  • 36″ – 3/8″ rope – $0.27
  • 2 – 1 1/2″ butt hinges – $2.48

The retail price total is $22.53 per chest. My post about building chairs has some ideas on ways to get lumber more inexpensively for your wood projects.

Time Needed to Build Chest

Our boys go to the wood shop for two back-to-back 50 minute sessions on two consecutive days. The first session starts with a short safety talk.  Most Webelos 1s can finish their chests in this amount of time, but a few may need extra time to attach the hinges and handles.

I estimate that it will take your Webelos 1s about 4 hours to do this Cub Scout wood project.


After doing this for so long, we’ve learned some things. Here are a few suggestions for you.

  • Pre-cut the wood. I think this goes without saying.  🙂
  • Pre-drill pilot holes. Pilot holes are important because many of the boys don’t have the strength or coordination to drive their nails in without them.
  • Have plenty of helpers. In addition to parent volunteers, your local Boy Scout troop may be willing to help.
  • The Cub Scouts should write their names and den numbers in crayon on all of their wood pieces as soon as they get them.
  • Keep your lumber covered. The National Guard loaned us “GP Mediums” (large canvas tents) under which to store the wood at day camp. If you’re working with fewer boys, you can store it in your garage.
  • Be patient! Or at least as patient as you can be in the heat with a bunch of boys hammering around you. 🙂

Your Cub Scouts will probably want to keep their chests in their rooms to store all their treasures!

If your Cub Scouts make the chest, let me know! I would love to see a picture of them.

Yours in Scouting,

P.S. For more Cub Scout wood projects, take a look at the chairs that our Webelos 2s made or the trays that our Wolves made!

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