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Advise For Whittlers

CUB SCOUT #1:  For some years Boy's Life published a regular feature called "Slide of the Month", written and illustrated by Ben Hunt, a noted carver. Here are some of what Ben Hunt had to say about whittling slides.

CUB SCOUT #2:  Almost any good sharp pocketknife will serve as your starter, but if you're going to buy a knife, make it the three-bladed pocket type.

CUB SCOUT #3:  Your knife must be sharp. A dull knife will skid on a tough piece of wood, but won't hesitate to slice into soft flesh.

CUB SCOUT #4:  How to hold your knife is one of the things you need to master. You rarely whittle with the thumb on the back of the cutting blade.

CUB SCOUT #5:  The hand holding the wood should always be in back of the blade, away from the cutting edge to avoid injury.

CUB SCOUT #6:  Next you need a piece of wood and some bandages. Yes, because no matter how careful you are, some day you'll be absorbed with whittling your creation only to begin wondering how a piece of soft pine got stained blood red.

CUB SCOUT #7:  Softwood is usually best. Good whittling woods include pine, basswood, poplar and cottonwood. Most softwoods can be whittled while green.

CUB SCOUT #8:  Remember you may not carry a pocketknife in the Cub Scouts until you are a Bear and have earned the Whittle and Chip Card. Would everyone please rise and join us in the Pledge of Allegiance.

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