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How to Build a Wooden Chest

Looking for Cub Scout wood projects? Look no further than this cool chest that the Scouts can build to store their treasures! Great for all kids.

how to build a chest

I love that we build Cub Scout wood projects at our day camp.  The Scouts get to use hand 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

cub scouts building wood projects

If a Scout comes to day camp every year that they is eligible, they'll have five different projects.

With 200 Cub Scouts coming to our camp, running the wood shop requires lots of volunteers.  We're fortunate to have Scouts BSA 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:

diy wooden chest

Adventures Involving Building

In the Cub Scout program, there are three 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.

Tiger Adventure – My Tiger Jungle 5:  Build and hang a birdhouse.

Bear 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 entering your email below.

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Chest Costs

I calculated the cost of the project by using the Home Depot online prices. I used the best price available.

  • 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 Scouts 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 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 about 4 hours to do this Cub Scout wood project.

Check out the Young Woodworkers Kit Club! Right now, get 50% off your first kit!


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

  • Pre-cut the wood. Since we have 200 Cub Scouts at our camp, there are usually a couple of wood cutting parties before camp.
  • Pre-drill pilot holes. This will help the kids who have trouble driving in the nails.
  • Have plenty of helpers. Our local Scouts BSA troops help us during day camp. If you're doing this as a den or pack, contact the troop to ask for 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.
  • You'll want to 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 Scouts, 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 kids 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 Arrows of Light made or the trays that our Wolves made!

how to build a wooden chest

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Rebecca Terlisner

Monday 2nd of November 2020

How long does it take to get an email with the plans I requested? I asked for the trunk, but I'd love to get all of the plans.

Sherry Smothermon-Short

Tuesday 3rd of November 2020

Hi, Rebecca! When you confirmed your email subscription, you should have been taken to a download page right away.

After that, you can sign up for any of the printables, and they'll start downloading immediately. Please email me at [email protected] if you still have trouble. Thanks for reading!

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