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  • Whittling Chip Demo Knife

    Was researching for ideas for our next Bear Den meeting (working on Whittling Chip) and found this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=taIIz7VLWEo

    Planning to make one next week. Wonder if it will carve ivory soap?

  • #2
    interesting.
    I've see popsicle sticks sanded into very nice looking knifes for soap carving too....
    But all of this seems like a whole lot of work to me.

    Why not just use a real knife?????
    Or a table knife to "simulate a sheath knife????
    and if the scouts are that fat fingered, or you are that paranoid..... either get a ultra cheap pocket knife, maybe from a thrift store, and dull the blade.....???
    OR tape over the edge of the blade....????
    Any of these options would be a whole lot less work!

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    • #3
      You can carve soap with a disposable plastic knife. That's what we had our Bears do when they were working on whittlin' chip. It makes them follow better technique, or the knife will break. Plan at least two knives per boy.

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      • #4
        IMHO Your third grade bears will be able to handle the pocket knife achievement with their own knives without props or popcycle sticks or plastic knives. One of the reason boys love cub scouts is they get to do challenging and fun things that are new. Introduce it well (a couple of meetings ahead and then each one till the day), have extra adults on hand, coach the adults on what types of knives to get their sons.

        (Unless your den has no discipline developed yet. You have lots of time to develop listening, following directions, etc this year in Wolves if you are concerned.)

        Our pack suggested for first knives a single folding locking blade. One with a plastic handle runs about $ 6. They are not family heirlooms that will be lost at scout camp.

        Now, a big knife prop to do a skit at a Pack meeting on knife safety.... that would be worth the time to make, maybe as a den project.

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        • #5
          Plastic, wood, cardboard, all these "pretend" knives really beg the point. A knife is a knife. The boy should learn the proper, safe handling of a real knife and the respect any tool deserves.
          Start with small, paring knife, demonstrate the safety circle, the passing , the carving with it. Remind them that this is the way workers treat the tool in foundries and garages. This is not a toy, you can be hurt by it. Treat it in a grown up way. Whittlin ' Chip is a "permission", gained after the Cub has demonstrated he knows how to treat the blade with respect and care. This grants "permission" to carry and use a pocket knife, with the parents OK, at a Cub Scout Activity. It does NOT give permission to take the knife to school, or to your buddy's house or anywhere else. Serious Business.

          A bar of Ivory makes a good transition and graduation project. I have seen some really credible cars and animals and things come out of an Ivory bar. When I teach Whittlin' Chip, I have a bag of small folding pocket knives I loan out for practice and soap carving.
          AND... you can bet that one of the best Boy Scout recruiting show is a Den Chief (or other Scout) doing the W/C demo for your Den!
          Your Cubs should see their adults dealing with blades in the same manner, at all times. The first time YOU fail to pass the knife correctly, or cut toward you rather than away, or not close the blade with an open palm, you better believe your Cub is going to tell you about it!
          There are lots of good W/C curricula on line. If you PM me, I can email you ours.

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          • #6
            I used wooden knives and sandpaper sharpening stones with the Cubs, but only to teach sharpening. That was mainly to keep the cubs from ruining their real knives while learning. If you are teaching proper safety procedures and techniques, safety shouldn't be an issue. Besides, you can cut yourself with a wooden or plastic knife, too, if you aren't using it properly.

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            • #7
              Never, ever use a dull knife as they are more dangerous to use than a sharp knife. Why I like carbon steel blades, they keep their edge. As a wise man once said, 'A sharp knife is a safe knife."

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              • #8
                use a proper real knife. something comfortable in size for each individual scout to actually use.

                those plastic knife and soap demonstrations aren't teaching anything useful and will not represent real world needs for a knife.

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                • #9
                  well, what if you don't have 6 + knives so each boy can have one to carve something with (I don't even have a pocket knife of my own other than a tiny little keychain pocket knife - I do plan to get a knife this week though for myself)? What if the parent (even with the knowledge they control when the scout gets their whittling chit) won't buy a knife for the scout to practice with?

                  I see using various instruments as training aids, to protect the boys while letting them practice techniques they are learning while allowing us to correct mistakes with limited risks of cuts. No, I probably wouldn't have the boys actually carving anything with the oversized wooden knife, but I think it would be a great training aid. Let them demonstrate with plastic and soap, then hand them a real pocket knife and piece of wood to try it out for a few minutes. Perhaps let them talk about the difference.

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                  • #10
                    When my son was a bear we started with soap and plastic knives. It was a mess. While we were able to quickly clean up the big slivers of soap we then wiped down the tables and sprayed some general purpose cleaners on the tables. Uh, yeah. Won't do that again. Lots of soapy water and bubbles. lol.

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                    • #11
                      I'm not a fan of making knives seem like anything more than what they are: Simple tools. I worry that these fake knives make the real ones seem far more dangerous and far more intriguing than they should be.

                      If kids are introduced to knives with guided supervision and instruction, there is no need to use fake stuff.

                      I actually wish we were going the other way with this. Instead of teaching kids on fake knives, we should be using real fixed blade knives, stuff that is designed for carving and outdoor activities. They're actually safer for the kinds of things scouts use knives for.

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