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A peek at BL Workshop projects from decades past

SAFETY FIRST: Ask an adult to help with tools you haven't used before.

To close out our 100th birthday year, here’s a glimpse of some BL projects from decades past. Want to try them? Download the PDFs to see the original instructions and guidelines.

Make a photo display
July 1989

With a little woodworking skill, you can display your photos in a collage that can be hung on a wall for everyone to enjoy.


How to make a folding camp lantern
March 1951

Here’s a new item you might add to your list of lightweight equipment — a compact folding lantern.


How to make a periscope
January 1972

Did you ever wish you were a foot taller so you could look over a wall or fence, or be able to see more at a parade? With this easy-to-make periscope, you can.


Temporary Snow Shoes
January 1960

You can follow the example of the Indians and trappers of the far north, when they are caught short in a heavy snow storm. They make emergency shoes.


Dream On
September 1997

Troubled by nightmares? Hang a Native-American dreamcatcher by your bed and you’ll be sleeping soundly.



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19 Comments on A peek at BL Workshop projects from decades past

  1. anybody remember the wood safe project, it always stuck in my mind, thought I might find it here.

  2. BoyScout094 // March 23, 2015 at 6:34 pm // Reply

    Please add more!! I like doing these!

  3. Please put more of the “Oldies” on here! They are cool projects

  4. Anybody have the January 1951 issue which featured Ben Hunts article “ORANGE CRATE CANOE” I am 70 years old and was a boy scout in Rutland, Vermont at the time I read the article. I now live in Tucson, Arizona and would like to try and build it. Thank you!

    • Did anyone contact you with plans? Would like to get a copy myself.

    • Someone With Precise Words // August 4, 2015 at 1:31 pm // Reply

      Check the wayback archives.

    • Anonymous // July 7, 2019 at 6:00 pm // Reply

      neltz, my high school good buddy, built the Orange Crate canoe and it was so good and solid, he loaned me the boys life instructions. I then built mine in my parent’s garage. I think it was 16ft long. We took them with other friends to mountain lakes and paddled long distances loaded with camping gear and supplies with about 2 1/2 inches of freeboard in the winter. We were that age where believed we were not subject to being hurt or having a mishap. But, always made it safely, in spite of our ignorance.

      The Orange Crate canoe was very durable and used frequently. I hope you find the article with instructions. I think you’ll enjoy it.

  5. Ben Hunt’s projects are great. More of these!

  6. please add more of the “old” projects

  7. I think that the snow shoes are easy to make

  8. Seems the like the projects were cooler back then…so were the articles, todays BL reads like a comic book..

  9. billythecoolguy // January 8, 2012 at 1:30 pm // Reply

    i need a simple project to do that can be a decoration for your room.thoughts?ideas?i need some.

  10. I mean cardboard

  11. can you use ardboard for the periscope?

  12. oh wow this is good advice and it’s cool

  13. These all look complecated.

  14. I think these are all great. These thibgs could really come in handy in the northern part of the U.S.

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