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How to Build a Table: Cub Scout Woodworking Project

Kids will love learning how to build a table with these plans. It's an easy Cub Scout woodworking project that's great for all elementary-school aged kids!

how to build a table

I love the wood projects that we make at our Cub Scout day camp!  Because they are useful items, they aren't likely to be thrown away. 

I suspect that some of the children of our day camp attendees will see the table or chair or tray that dad built when he was in Cub Scouts.

wooden table

Our wood projects list by rank has been the same for at least the last seven years since I've been involved with the camp. The items vary in difficulty depending on rank.

We continue doing the same wood projects every year so that if a Scout comes to day camp every year, they'll have five different projects.

Here's a list of the wood projects by rank:

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 working on an adventure by making a birdhouse or tray, they are working on hand tool 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.

Table Plans

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Table Costs

I calculated the cost of the project by using the Home Depot online prices that were in effect when this post was written.

The prices are based on the per foot cost of the boards.  For example, the project needs 12 1/2′ of 2 x 4 lumber, so I used the price per foot for an 8′ board.

  • 150″ of 2″ x 4″ pine – $6.22
  • 85″ of 1″ x 4″ pine – $5.54
  • 20 – 6d nails – $0.50
  • 24 – 2 1/2″ galvanized wood screws (#8) – $2.40
  • 4 – 3 1/2″ galvanized wood screws (#10) – $0.62

The retail price total is $15.28 per table.  There are ways to get the lumber below the retail price.  Read my post about building chairs to find out how.

working on wood projects

Time Needed to Build Table

Our Scout go to the wood shop for two back-to-back 50 minute sessions on two consecutive days. The Bears usually finish their tables within this time.  

The hardest part for the Cub Scouts is connecting the center support.  I estimate that it will take your Bears about 3 hours to build the table which includes time for a short safety talk.

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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. 🙂

You just may see your child's table being used as a nightstand in his or her room.  Building something like this table is quite an accomplishment for a third grade Bear Cub Scout!

diy table

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

Yours in Scouting,

P.S. Take a look at the chairs that our Arrows of Light made!

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