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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Scroll Saw

When I first decided I wanted to make wooden montessori materials instead of laminated cardstock, I thought I would need to buy everything new, because there was no way buying a $150 scroll saw and then the cost of wood and the time making it was actually going to be cheaper than just buying the materials. I went searching on my local craigslist and low and behold! I scroll saw for $40. Yeah! The guy I bought it from didn't know much about it and I couldn't find the instructions anywhere online. Oh well. How hard could it be really? It's actually not hard at all. Once you figure out how to put a fresh blade in.

Now, what about the cost of the wood? Surely, that was going to be expensive...or so I thought. I never really realized how little wood I would actually need and how reasonable it was. I bought a 4'x8' piece of beautiful Birch plywood from Lowe's that was 1/4" thich for $20. I had the at Lowe's cut it into 1/3's since Lowe's and Home Depot will give you 2 free cuts of wood. This made it fit in the car easy and then I cut one piece into 1/3's with my jigsaw to make it easier. I think next time, I will tell the Lowe's guy to cut the sheet into 1/5's so I won't have to do that. To give you an idea of just how much wood it was this is a picture of 1/3 of the wood I got.

With 1/3 of this wood, I have already cut the pieces for these materials:

Addition Board & strips

Subtraction Board strips

2 Sets of Large Number cards

3 sets of small number cards

85 addition strips

30 addition answers

Ten Boards and numbers

Teens Boards and numbers

So really in the end, it has proven to be very inexpensive. It's more time consuming to make than laminated cardstock, however, the results are a lot prettier, long lasting and my son is getting so excited over the materials.


Anna B said...


Love the site! Made a donation yesterday. Thanks for all you do.

Quick question....for cards like the botany and animals cards, are you putting those on wood too? Do you cover with contact paper, shellac, and how do you affix it?


My Creative Side: Montessori Inspired said...

I am so inspired after reading your article. This is me 50 times this year wanting to buy a saw and I have checked out wood at lowes but when I get in the store, I feel overwhelmed and have settled for making stuff by recycling in my environment. I don't know where to begin with the wood, the prices which saws to buy etc. I appreciate your blog and this article. Your an inspiration of what I WANT to be doing.