Intro: Arrow of Light Award
If you have Cub Scouts like I do, then you know what a big deal getting your Arrow of Light Award is. I made these for my den. They are made from a 8 inch by 1 inch board cut down to about 18 inches. I have made them before for another pack and only had 4 to make, this season I only had to make 2! This may prove to be too much work if you have a large number of scouts.
Materials: 1 X 8 board, printed out pattern, 2 in clear tape, scissors, a Scroll saw (or Jig saw, or Coping saw), sand paper, stain, and patience.
Step 1: Make a Pattern or Template
To make the pattern I copied the Arrow of Light pattern into Paint and added my Pack's number. Then checking print preview I reduced and enlarged it to fit on 2 pages and be the right width to fit the board you use (mine was 8 inches wide). This size is perfect to make the cutting out easier, any smaller and the intricate details would be hard to cut out accurately. Print out the correct size and make sure it fits the board, tape the two sheets together, then cover it with clear packing tape on both the front and bottom to make a strong template. Then cut it out details. Don't forget to leave or make an edge all the way around it and keep the bottom and sides the same size.
Next trace your template onto your board. It may also be a good idea to make sure all of your pencil lines are straight. You may want to go back over the long ones with a ruler after you trace it out. It is easy when focusing to go off on a stray line thinking it is the one to cut, but it is just where your pencil slipped under the template
*Good to note that my scroll saw has a 16 inch depth, which really made the edges of this project difficult. You might want to make yours only as deep as your tools will allow.
Step 2: Drill Pilot Holes Into the Empty Spaces
I cut mine out using a scroll saw, but you could do this with a coping saw or a jig saw if you went really slow and were really careful. You need to drill starter holes into each section you want to be cut out, but remember to use a hole large enough to fit the end of the blade down into it. There is a small metal tube sticking out parallel that has to fit.
Step 3: Cutting Out the Empty Spaces
Now it's time to test your patience, this step will take a while and you do not want to rush. Two things will happen if you rush, one you will break blades, and you may mess up your piece. Take your time! To cut at a corner, I like to cut all the way to the edge, then go back a half inch and start again, and this time cutting another path beside the first. Repeat this another time to get a small pocket that is the width of you blade, this will let you turn without snapping the blade in half. See the picture of the details at the feathers, that triangle is the pocket I made for my turns.
*Do not push the piece with the small little arms or rays they will break, use the outer edge to push toward the saw. Carefully!
*You can cut the word Pack out completely but I chose to push them up together and only cut out the larger holes.
Step 4: The Details
You may want to cut out the end spaces after the feathers or leave them and carve them out, like I do around the work Pack. Your choice, I liked to cut them out since it was straight lines. But I will warn you the space where the feathers connect to the edge of the frame is very close and may break, be careful.
Next sand the top and bottom very carefully around each beam and cut. I would hand sand it and not use any electric, just to make sure you don't break off a piece. Just enough to get rid of the furry edges and any pencil lines you might have missed.
Step 5: Last Step - Paint or Stain
After you finish sanding and dust them off really well, it is time to stain them. Or paint, whatever you want. Paint really hides some of the flaws, like breaking a feather and gluing it back on! (Not that I know anything about that?).
A great way to leave them to dry is to stain (or paint) them and hang them on a nail from a rafter like in one of these pictures.
*If you are also giving out Career Arrows you can screw "C" hooks into the bottom and use this as a holder for those as well.