A Friend I have known all my life and his Wife live in a small country Town about 5 hours drive from me..
They have 4 Grand Children all under 7.
I thought an Old Fashioned Alphabet and Numbers set,  would be a good way for them to learn to spell and practice basic Maths.
They are made from 1/4 inch almost marine grade ply, which is free of voids and easy to work with.

I found a pattern on the net I could down load with Alphabets and Numbers.  Then Photo Copied more than I needed for spares and also in case I ever needed to make another set some time.
The Pieces were all cut on my Scroll Saw then edge and interior sanded with a sanding blade.
once completed, I made sanding sticks ....These were Paddle Pop/ice cream sticks .... I have a big bag of these...they are handy for spreading glue on projects....

To make these Sanding Sticks, I turn a piece of sandpaper upside down and spread it with glue and place as many as possible sticks on it and place a board and a weight on them until the next day.
This sounds easy, but when the sand paper decided to roll up by itself while gluing....I invented a new language...and was wishing  I had 6 pairs of hands.

Once the sanding sticks were cut from the sand paper there were many sticks to use.  
I spent many late nights at the kitchen table with the radio playing and a coffee at hand.  Sanding away to make sure there were no sharp edges for little fingers.

Eventually all finished.  Then packaged up and taken to the Post Office.

I didn't apply any finish as the ply was quite good quality and looked quite presentable after final sanding.

There are 8 of each letter of the Alphabet making that 208 Letters.
There are 6 Numbers from 0 to 9 making that 60 numbers.

Grand Total of 268 Pieces.

The Kid's think that Uncle Cliff is a Genius.



What’s great gift! Good job uncle Cliff. 

Ryan/// ~sigh~ I blew up another bowl. Moke told me "I made the inside bigger than the outside".

Cliff a great idea, and a lot of work, many letter and numbers to cut out then sand all of those little buggers, wow. I think you missed 2 sets of number there. Well done.

I know you pain with the cutting and sanding, made up some puzzles / name boards for my grandkids for Christmas last year. Thinking LBD will chime in about the laser at some point.

Main Street to the Mountains

My goodness me Cliff, you cut all of those letters & numbers by hand, WOW SIR, you deserve a medal 🥇 

Life’s Good, Enjoy Each New Day’s Blessings

I a great job and will be appreciated.

I make sanding sticks but use 3M77 spray glue.


Thank you Ryan...The Kids love them.
Regards......Uncle Cliff.
Thank you....Regards......Cliff.
I like the idea of the sanding sticks, I always wrap the paper around a stick, I do have a few hardboard pieces with a full paper glued to it for the flat work.

Main Street to the Mountains

Eric-the "Loft'
Thanks Eric.  It certainly was a long Job.   But well worth the effort.

Yes I had thought of doing 8 sets of the numbers.  But thought with 6 sets they will be able to do plenty of Maths.
Where as with the Alphabets they would need 8 sets so as to make sentences.

I can always make some more if required.

Thanks Peter...Certainly a big Job...but well worth it to know they will get a lot of fun using them.
Thank you. I am sure they will enjoy using them.

Thanks for the sandpaper Idea....I will try that.  I notice you glue the sandpaper on both sides.  Excellent idea.

Cannot imagine the time spent cutting and sawing all those pieces.    Would take a lot of patience and dedication that I'm not sure I would have.    So, WELL DONE and Uncle Cliff should get a few hugs and thankyous for all of the work.    Great project. 


Now that is some dedication! 

As the kids learn, you can add in punctuation marks and lower case (if you get bored that is!)

Great idea with the mass production of the sanding sticks!
Nice! That's a lot of work. I was expecting CNC, but you are a machine (in a good way)!

Steven- Random Orbital Nailer

That took awhile!  Perseverance and dedication, great job

TimV, "The understanding eye sees the maker's fingerprints, they are evident in every detail, leave Fingerprints." James Krenov

Thank you Ron.   There were a lot of cups of coffee and late nights sanding away at the kitchen table each night.
Thank you....That is a great idea regarding Full Stops , Exclamation Marks etc...and Lower Case.
Yes I have found the sanding sticks really come in handy.

Thank you.  I certainly felt I was a part of the machine ( SCROLL SAW)  Its a fun machine to use and after awhile you just chug along with it....but care and attention...I wouldn't like to poke my finger into the blade.   Many years ago when I was a first year apprentice I pushed my thumb into a thick scroll saw blade...the Boss washed the wound with a rubber hose 
attached to a sink tap.  Dried the wound and wrapped it up with sticking plaster.  Then wagged his finger at me and said...Back To Work....I think I can still see a scar to this day.    That is 60 years ago...

Thank you.

and those sanding sticks are a great idea.

If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD