Saturday, March 27, 2010

Carving The Classic Hippy Necklace

One of the funnest parts about most major Scouting events are the various themes selected by competing sections. Competition can be fierce between these sections who are competing for the events  spirit award so having a good costume or props is a plus.

The theme for our section at Conclave this April will be the psychedelic 60's so as you can see from the pictures to the right, I've been busy carving up a hippy necklace. This was a very easy carving project that probably only took about an hour to design, cut, carve, and paint.

Since woodshop and Scouting classes have been centered around the upcoming pinewood derby race, there were plenty of basswood scraps lying around so that's what I used for this project. I started with a piece of basswood about 7/16" thick, 1-3/4" wide, and 1-7/8" tall.

Although I could have used a compass and pencil to get a "perfect" circle, I just sketched out the circle freestyle thus giving it a more handmade appeal. Using the scrollsaw I then cut out the design in preparation for carving. As you can see from the pictures to the left I allowed for a small block protruding from the top of the the necklace where I then drilled a 1/8" hole for the cord.

As seen in the picture to the right I then just smoothed up all of the rough edges left by the scrollsaw, then used my small V-parting tool to etch in the notches seen around the "chicken-foot" peace sign. I decided to use hot pink acrylic paint for the peace sign, then I chose a variety of rainbow colors for the surrounding circular frame of the necklace. I completed the necklace by applying a satin polyurethane then strung a piece of black leather lacing through the hole as the lanyard.

This was a very fun and quick scrap wood project that has now inspired even more ideas for future necklace projects, perhaps with a different theme. The possibilities are limitless so I've already started brainstorming a list. Basswood was also an excellent choice for this project since the open spaces between the peace sign and the surrounding frame could be a fragile point using soft wood. Basswood also has the strength to withstand drilling the small lanyard hole.

I'm looking forward to Conclave 2010 which should be a premium Scouting event where everyone can have a lot of fun. The little hand-carved hippy necklace is small but I hope that it will generate a few laughs and to help us bring home the award for most spirit!


  1. dude chief dave that is an alsome carving project. i have to say i kinda wish i was still up at camp so i could make a few of thouse on the scrowlsaw. but its a little to cold up there. but dude i only have a band saw so what should i do to hollow out the middle.


  2. Hey Jack,

    Of all the people I knew that you'd like this one! You should see the 2 foot long hippie hair that I've bought, with my tie-die t-shirt, and the peace sign necklace. You'd think that I just walked out of 1969!

    If you don't yet have a scroll saw then I'd reccomend using a coping saw to remove that waste wood in the center. Home Depot will definitely have them and Wal-Mart probably carries them for between $5 and $10. You might also need some kind of bench vise to hold the wood while sawing it too.

    I sure do miss carving with you.

    Chief Dave