Carpentry - Historic Merit Badge

First offered in 1911-discontinued in 1952.

These are the original requirements written in 1911. Think about how times have changed as you complete the requirements a Scout your age would have done a hundred years ago.

Can you imagine a life without power tools?
Long before manufacturing, everything was made by hand.
Craftsmen developed their skills to become a master.
The final test was the production of a great piece called a masterpiece.

A hundred years ago there was no such thing as handheld power tools. To get the most of this merit badge, we suggest doing it the old-fashioned way with good, old-fashioned hand tools.


Think safety first by using the appropriate clothing and ALWAYS using safety equipment such as eye and ear protection and gloves as appropriate. Always work under the direct supervision of a responsible adult who is knowledgeable about the tools and materials you plan to use. For more information about safety with tools, see the Home Repairs and Woodwork merit badge pamphlets.

These tools are very important for planning your project. A wrong angle or crooked line could keep the project from being assembled properly. Perhaps you have heard your grandfather say, “Always measure twice and cut once.” Since it took considerable physical effort to saw a board, can you understand the importance of good preparation?


To obtain a Merit Badge for Carpentry, a Scout must:

  1. Demonstrate the use of the rule, square, level, plumb-line, mitre, chalk-line and bevel.
  2. Demonstrate the proper way to drive, set, and clinch a nail, draw a spike with a claw-hammer, and to join two pieces of wood with screws.
  3. Show correct use of the cross-cut saw and of the rip-saw.
  4. Show how to plane the edge, end and the broad surface of a board.
  5. Demonstrate how to lay shingles.
  6. Make a simple article of furniture for practical use in the home or on the home grounds, finished in a workmanlike manner, all work to be done without assistance.