Guitar-shaped Walnut Serving Board

About: I make pictures and video about saw milling, guitar/ banjo playing and building and general interest content too. I love to build stuff!

In this Instructable I will demonstrate how I made a guitar shaped serving board out of black walnut. I have a sawmill and so have access to raw slabs of wood of varying dimensions. For this project I used half-inch thick material but I think 1 inch or less would do. A really easy project and really cool!

Step 1: Choose Your Wood

I used black walnut but any natural wood will do. The biggest obstacle will be finding something wide enough to fit the whole design onto. Of course multiple pieces could be joined together but that increases the difficulty! Maybe a smaller scale would work too but this is how I went about doing it.

Step 2: Make a Template and Transfer to the Wood

I made my template from cardboard, not a very durable material! If you plan on making many of these boards, I would suggest using something stronger than paper for the template. Simply trace around the template with pencil or marker. Don't worry about being messy here because any marks you make can be sanded out later.

Step 3: Cut Out Shape

I used a jigsaw for this step. The half inch wood was easy to cut through. Keep in mind the thicker the wood the more powerful tools you may need to use to cut the round shapes of the guitar body.

Step 4: Sanding

This is the most time consuming step for me. The wood from the mill is pretty rough and usually requires planing to smooth it enough to use sandpaper to finish with. This piece was too wide for my planer so I used a bench sander to start the sanding process. The bench sander has a 60 grit belt. Sanding to 80 grit on the bench sander is recommended because its faster than hand sanding. I sanded 100 then 120 grit with a palm sander before ending with 300 then 400 grit hand sanding.

Step 5: Finishing With Mineral Oil

Here's the best part! The gravy! The glory! Rubbing the oil onto the surface and watching the grain pop! This step makes all that hard sanding worth every ache in your arms and dust in your eyes. Use some sort of non linty fabric to rub the oil in. Many coats will be required but the first is always the most striking.

Thanks for reading my Intrstructable and I hope you have success!

Check out the video in the intro for more visuals!



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    4 Discussions


    6 months ago

    This is a nice idea, I have a son who loves his guitars. Adding this to my to do list. Thanks for posting it.

    1 reply

    6 months ago

    This came out so beautifully! I feel like the last few times I've tried to use a jigsaw to cut shapes I've faced a lot chatter in the material - any tips on how to combat that?

    1 reply
    Troy Eckstein audreyobscura

    Reply 6 months ago

    Thanks for the kind words! I think I know what you mean about the chatter and I’ll tell ya I clamped it in two spots right where I was cutting. Pain in the butt to keep moving clamps but that’s what I do. And use a new blade!