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Baloo's Bugle

November 2005 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 12, Issue 4
December 2005 Theme

Theme: Faith, Hope and Charity
Webelos: Craftsman & Scientist
  Tiger Cub


This is the second month for both of these badges. These ideas are intended to supplement last month’s.   So if you haven’t used all the ideas in last month’s issue, go on back to that issue as well as looking here.  CD


Southern NJ Council

The Craftsman activity pin will not be an easy one for some of the boys to complete. Encourage the boys to put forth their best effort. Give praise when praise is deserved, and give encouragement in other areas. Do not encourage competition while working on Craftsman, this can cause boys to get careless in their attempts to “win” and could cause injuries to occur.


Handsaws have come a long way since the earliest Stone Age man made his by chipping notches in a piece of stone or flint. Todays saws are made of steel, with handles designed for a firm grip and with tow different types of teeth. These two very important saws in a wood worker’s tool kit are a rip and a crosscut saw. While both saws look alike in size and shape, a close examination of the teeth will disclose several differences - the shape and spacing of the teeth, and the way the teeth are filed. Rip-saw teeth are designed to cut with the grain of the wood and so are straight-filed, each tooth cutting as a small chisel. Crosscut saw teeth are designed to cut across the grain and so are bevel-filed, each tooth cutting the wood fibers like a sharp knife. Both saws have a “set” in the teeth ... that is, alternate teeth are bent outward slightly, so the saw serf will be slightly wider than the thickness of the blade to provide clearance and make cutting easier.

High quality saws are taper-ground for the same reason. The most popular size of rip and crosscut saws is 26 inches, with five or five and one-half teeth (point to the inch for rip saws and eight or ten teeth to the inch for crosscut saws.)

To rip a board, hold at 45 to 60-degree angle. Take long, easy strokes. Don’t force saw To start a cut, use thumb as a guide for blade. Extending your forefinger on handle, helps to steer saw in straight line. For crosscutting, hold the saw at an angle of 45 degrees. Steady the board so it does not vibrate.

Working with Plastics

Acrylic sheets are used for plastic projects. Almost any plastic supplier has scrap acrylics which you can purchase from them for a minimal price. (They may offer to donate the pieces.) You can also find sheets of acrylic in many home improvement stores. You will need fairly thin acrylic (1/8” thickness is plenty) for these projects. You can use clear or colored sheets, depending on the project you choose.

It is important that you plan ahead. You will have to do some of the work yourself. For example, an adult should oversee the use of ovens or appliances. For simple thermoforming, a kitchen oven, electric hot plate, heat gun, hair dryer or strip heater can be used. There are many variables involved in heating and forming plastics, so experiment in advance with scrap pieces so you’ll know what to expect at the meeting.

As a general rule, the plastic should be heated as quickly and uniformly as possible. The plastic should be very pliable or rubbery for good forming, when heated. When heating in an oven, set the temperature at 350 degrees.

General Procedures:

  • Before you heat any plastic, be sure to remove all masking paper and foreign matter from it.
  • For simple bends, first cut to shape the pieces to be formed.
  • Finish the edges the way you want them to appear in the final project.
  • Wear soft cotton flannel gloves when handling the heated plastic.
  • Form all pieces a quickly as possible, as the plastic cools quickly.

Working with Leather

Leather crafting is a fun hobby that many boys may carry into adulthood with them. It is best to start with simple projects like key chains and coasters. Then let the boys work their way up to more difficult items such as wallets or belts.

Leather Tooling Tips

  • Dampen leather for ease of tooling, but don’t leave it dripping wet.
  • Hve the boys draw a design on paper before starting. Then they can trace the design onto their piece of leather with an awl.
  • Let the boys practice with their tools on scarp leather first.
  • Lather stains or acrylic paints can give your projects an added dimension.
  • Put a scrap of wood under each boy’s project.


Book Rack:

Keeping your Scouting books, and other books that you are reading, in this rack will help you find just the book you want quickly.

It also helps to keep your room in order. Making this book rack is not difficult and is a good woodworking project. The end boards of the rack are cut out in the shape of a huge Indian arrowhead. See template for pattern. These are cut from one-half inch hardwood.

Sandpaper the edges off smooth and “chip” the edges with a hall-round file. The chip grooves are made on the outside of the end boards only. The inside surface is left smooth. Three, one-half inch dowels are used for the spreaders. They are 12 inches long, and the ends are glued into holes made in the end boards. These holes must stop short of going through. The proper location of these holes can be determined from the pattern. When boring the holes, be sure to make the ends right hand and left hand. Otherwise, you will be in trouble.

A thin piece of plywood about 1/8 inch thick is used for the Scout emblem. Make one for each end and glue them in place as indicated in the illustration. The rack can be finished any way you desire. It can be stained and lacquered, or finished natural. If you like bright colors, it can be painted with enamel The emblem should be a contrasting color.

Weather Vane:


  • 20” Curtain Rod
  • Coathanger Wire
  • Tin or Aluminum
  • Broomstick or dowel
  • Bolts, washers, screws
  • Glue
  • Enamel Paint


  • Using patterns enlarged from the above illustrations, cut arrowhead, Webelos insignia and compass point initials from tin. Roll edges so they will not be sharp and dangerous.
  • Paint with enamel.
  • Bolt arrowhead and Webelos insignia ends to curtain rod.
  • Drill small holes in 4 sides of broomstick.
  • Solder initials to wire. Glue ends of wire in holes of broomstick.
  • Punch hole in middle of curtain rod.
  • Screw curtain rod to top of broomstick, using washers, so arrow will swing freely when the wind blows.
  • When installing vane, be sure that the stationery compass directional initials point correctly, i.e. N is due North, etc.

Drafting Word Search:


Accuracy                     Acetate                      Arcs

Artist                            Bars                            Beam

Blade                           Block                           Board

Brush                          Caliper                            Case

Chalk                            Clip                             Copy

Curve                            Desk                             Draft

Easel                             Edge                              File

Graphics                        Inks                            Linear

Matte                            Paper                           Pencil

Plan                            Render                             rule

Sheet                            Stand                           Stylus

Tools    Trace





Baltimore Area Council

A scientist studies things to team how they behave and why. Scientists try to find out the laws of nature about the things they study. People can use these rules or laws in making things. While working on this activity badge, you will learn a few of the main ideas in physics. Physics is a science with several branches. One of these branches will be weather. You can learn a little about weather in these activity badge requirements. Another branch of physics is called optics. You will have a chance to learn something about sight and find out how your eyes work. Scientists learn a lot by experimenting or trying things out. Try things for yourself. Scientists take nothing for granted. They may be sure an idea is true, but they always test it, if possible, to make certain they are right.


  • Lab Technician           
  • Researcher                  
  • Zoologist
  • Optometrist           
  • Ophthalmologist   
  • Nuclear Physicist
  • Weather Forecaster         
  • Nurse          
  • X-Ray Technician
  • Science Teacher

Pack Meeting

  • Honor your Pack leaders by making up some "Scientific Awards." Cut them out of poster board. For example:
    • Gravity is a heavy subject. (Shape of the Earth)
    • Stars are night lights that don't run up bills. (Stars)
    • Astronomers are far-sighted. (Glasses with big eyeballs)
    • Chemists really, stir things up! (Beaker with bubbling mix.)
  • Science Fair: Set up and hold a science fair during your Pack meeting. Show some of the simple experiments you have been doing in your Den meetings.
  • Display items that you have made.

Den Activities

  • Talk about the various branches of science and how they differ.
  • Do the atmospheric pressure tests or balance tests in the Webelos Book.
  • Make Fog.
  • Make Crystals.
  • Do the inertia experiments in the Webelos Book.
  • Visit an eye specialist and learn how the eyes converge and find out what the various eye tests measure
  • Invite a local weatherman to your Den meeting to talk about the climate during the year. How is weather different in
  • the Southern Hemisphere?
  • Have a slow-motion bicycle riding contest to illustrate balancing skills.
  • Plan a scientific experiment to be demonstrated at the Pack meeting.

Field Trips

  • Visit an eye specialist and learn how the eyes work.
  • Visit the control tower of the Metropolitan Airport or visit a Municipal Airport.
  • Learn about the principles of fight for an airplane and look at all the control dials.


Southern NJ Council

Inertia is the tendency of a thing at rest to remain at rest and a thing in motion to continue in the same straight line.

Get a small stick about 10-inches in length and the diameter of a pencil. Fold a newspaper and place it near the edge of a table. Place the stick under the newspaper on the table and let about half the stick extend over the edge of the table. Strike the stick sharply with another stick. Inertia should cause the stick on the table to break into two parts.


Southern NJ Council


  • Rubber balloon
  • Several pins with large heads
  • Roll of plastic tape

Inflate the balloon and affix little squares of plastic tape to it. Stick each pin through the center of the tape and to their amazement, the balloon will not burst. When you remove the pins, the balloon still will not burst.

What happens: The adhesive substance on the tape acts like a self healing automobile tire, adhering to the pin as it is pressed inward. When the pin is removed, the adhesive is forced outward by the air pressure from within the balloon, atomically sealing the tiny pinholes.


Southern NJ Council

Put several matches in a bowl almost full of water, making a shape like a star.

Stick a pin into a small piece of soap.

Gently dip the soap into the water at the center of the star of matches, taking care not to disturb them. The matches will all move away from the soap.

What happens: When you dip the soap in the water a little of the soap dissolves. The surface tension of the clean water is stronger that that of soapy water, so the clean water around them pulls the matches outward.


Southern NJ Council


  • 1 or 2 quart bottle with stopper to fit
  • 3” of ½ “ glass, metal or plastic tubing (Tube from an old Windex bottle can be used)
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Facial tissue
  1. Drill hole in stopper and insert tubing
  2. Wrap soda in tissue and attach tissue to tube with rubber band
  3. Fill bottle one half full of 1 part vinegar and 1 part water
  4. Insert stopper in bottle with soda inside bottle, but not touching vinegar solution
  5. To operate, tip bottle upside down, soaking the tissue paper with vinegar


Southern NJ Council

To see how fast or slow the wind blows, make an anemometer (a wind speed measurer)

You will need  - stiff cardboard 24” x 12”

  1. Measure four 6” widths with a ruler, and draw pencil lines with scissors.
  2. Set a compass to 4” and draw an arc on the cardboard as shown.
  3. Cut out a narrow slot along the arc.
  4. Mark numbers at equal intervals along the slot.
  5. Fold the cardboard inward along the scored lines.
  6. Put cellophane tape along the two edges and along all the folded edges.
  7. Cut a piece of paper 4 ¾” square and tape it to the end of the box as shown. Take the anemometer outside and point the flap toward the wind. Each night and morning, record the level that the flap reaches


Southern NJ Council

In a heatproof jar with lid, boil a half-inch of water with the lid on loosely so some of the steam can escape. Then tighten the lid and turn jar over. Put an ice cube or two on the jar bottom. In a moment the water will boil again.

What happens? The air pressure has been reduced in the jar by the ice condensing the water vapor inside. The boiling point of a liquid depends on atmospheric pressure.


Southern NJ Council

Each team will need a balloon for every Webelos and a fruit can for each team. Each team will have a chair on each end of the room. Each team is divided with half of the team behind each of that teams chairs. The can is placed on a chair.

One boy holds the balloon in the can and blows it up enough to make the can stick on around the balloon. He then carries the balloon, with the can hanging on, to the other chair. He then deflates his balloon and the next boy inflates his own balloon and carries it and the can back to the original chair. The first team to switch locates wins.


Baltimore Area Council

Shooting Back

Place an empty soda bottle on its side. Put a wad of paper in the neck and try to blow it in. It comes back out.

Why? When you blow into an enclosed space like a bottle, you increase the air pressure inside. Since pressure will equalize when it can, the air rushes out of the bottle, taking the wad of paper with it.

Balloon in Bottle –

Place a deflated balloon inside a two-liter bottle, with the lip of the balloon over the top of the bottle. "Cry to blow up the balloon.

What happens? Air pressure inside the bottle increases as the balloon takes up space, so air pressure is fighting against you. To inflate the balloon, you would need to compress the air trapped between the balloon and the bottle. To compress air requires force. The human lungs are not strong enough to inflate the balloon and to compress the trapped air.

Making Air Work for Us

Use a balloon to pick up a glass -- Place a deflated balloon in a glass. Blow up the balloon until it is tight around the edge of the glass. Hold the end of the balloon shut and pick up the glass.

Use a balloon to lift books -- Place a deflated balloon under a stack of books. As you blow the balloon up, the books will rise. A hydraulic lift is based on this principle.


Baltimore Area Council

We live under a blanket of air called the earth's atmosphere. The air in the atmosphere exerts pressure of almost fifteen pounds per inch on every surface on earth.

Diving Bell

Place a piece of crumpled paper in the bottom of a glass or tin can. Turn the glass upside down and submerge it in a bucket of water. The paper will remain dry. Why? The air, which filled the "empty" space in the glass, stopped the water from entering.

Hanging Water

Fill a glass to overflowing and lay a piece of cardboard atop it. Support the card with one hand, turn the glass upside down, and remove your hand from the card. The card does not fall. It remains on the glass and allows no water to escape. Why? The air pressure from below the cardboard is greater than the pressure of the water above and presses the card tightly against the glass.

Wedged Glasses

Place two glasses together with a piece of wet construction paper between them. Burn a candle in the bottom glass. The glasses become "welded" together. Why? The flame uses up the oxygen in the bottom glass, so the pressure is now lower in this glass.

Auto Gyro

Baltimore Area Council

Materials: Paper 3 1/2" wide by 8 1/4" long

The principle of the Auto Gyro can be easily demonstrated by making one as shown in the sketch.

  1. Using a piece of paper 3 ½" wide by 8 ¼” long, cut down the center of the paper 4" and then fold the cut sections to opposite sides as shown, to form the two wings.
  2. Fold the balance in halt: and then make two triangular folds to the midline and your Auto Gyro is ready.
  3. Make two other Auto Gyros basically the same as the first one, but shorten the wing length from four inches to three inches on the second one and to two inches on the third one.

Try flying from the same height and observe how each model reacts. Does any thing seem to slow their descent'? What actually makes it spin'? Note the order in which the three models reached the ground. Are wing size, air resistance, and rate of descent related?

Spinner Scope
Baltimore Area Council


  • Paper plates
  • scissors
  • watercolor markers
  • pushpin
  • unsharpened
  • pencil with eraser top
  1. Cut out notches around edge of plates as shown.
  2. Draw a design on each plate with markers. Draw a spiral, small circles close to each other, or a simple object, such as a fish.
  3. Poke a pushpin through center of plate, then into eraser end of pencil.
  4. Stand in front of mirror. Spin pencil between hands as you peer through the notches. Each design will produce a different optical illusion as the spinning elements appear to merge.

Materials found in Baloo's Bugle may be used by Scouters for Scouting activities provided that Baloo's Bugle and the original contributors are cited as the source of the material.

Materials found at the U. S. Scouting Service Project, Inc. Website 1997-2005 may be reproduced and used locally by Scouting volunteers for training purposes consistent with the programs of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) or other Scouting and Guiding Organizations. No material found here may be used or reproduced for electronic redistribution or for commercial or other non-Scouting purposes without the express permission of the U. S. Scouting Service Project, Inc. (USSSP) or other copyright holders. USSSP is not affiliated with BSA and does not speak on behalf of BSA. Opinions expressed on these web pages are those of the web authors.