Stratocaster Chopping Board - A.k.a. the "StratoChopper"

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About: At heart an engineer, musician, polyglot, cook, computer programmer, wood worker, brewer and hacker.

Intro: Stratocaster Chopping Board - A.k.a. the "StratoChopper"

A simple-to-make chopping board from scrap kitchen counter board (a la IKEA) in the shape of a Fender Stratocaster guitar. Next time you have a dinner party for your muso friends, amaze and confuse them by serving cheese on this retro-shaped chopping board.

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Step 1: Materials and Tools

Materials:
* Kitchen Counter board, like oak, maple, ash, about 35mm thick. Mine is a leftover from a kitchen refurb project. Or just go to IKEA and buy a section of kitchen counter. Do not use chip-board kitchen counter!
* Sandpaper
* Tung oil, Counter top oil or Danish oil (not so good as it is not food-quality)
* Liquid paraffin (and old-fashioned medication for rot gut)

Tools:
* Fender Guitar or other guitar with well-known shape, e.g. Les Paul, Telecaster (this is for tracing the shape only - your guitar will remain intact for this Instructable!)
* Band saw or jigsaw. Recommend a band saw, but I managed OK with a jigsaw
* Router with a 10mm-radius roundover bit
* Belt sander, drum sander, orbital sander, linisher, or all of them
* Various grades of sand paper
* Drill and 32mm spade bit for an optional hole
* Pencil

Step 2: Trace Shape From the Real Thing

Carefully place your precious guitar on the scrap board and trace the outline as accurately as possible with a flat-sided carpenter's pencil.

Redraw the lines with a dark marker pen to help you better "understand" the curves and avoid mistakes in the next step when cutting the board.

Step 3: Cut Out

Cut along the line on the board, being careful to always keep the blade perpendicular to the board. Avoid breathing in the oak dust - it is nasty stuff. If you can connect a vacuum cleaner to the jigsaw of band saw, so much the better.

Step 4: Add Optional Hole

Make an optional decorative hole where the neck would have been attached. Round the corners over. This is one possible way of elegantly dealing with the familiar guitar shape that is now bereft of a neck.

I used a 32mm spade drill bit, but an auger or Forstner drill bit would have been much better.

Step 5: Sand Out Shape

Use whatever sanding tools you have available to smooth out the shape on the perpendicular axis. Don't worry about rounding over yet, since this will be taken care of in the next step with a router and a round-over bit.

Step 6: Round Over Edges & Final Sanding

After smoothing the outer shape of the 'guitar body', I routed it by hand on a routing mat using a 10mm radius rounding-over bit. 

Remember to move your router in a clockwise circle when routing the inside of the hole, and to route in a left to right direction with the work piece edge facing you.

Smooth any remaining imperfections from the routing operation with increasing grades of sandpaper. 

Step 7: Apply Wood Finish

The best choice of finish for use with food is tung oil, with a final finish of liquid paraffin for a matt finish.
Other choices for finish are kitchen counter-top oil (which presumably is of food grade?), and Danish oil - which judging by its smell, is probably not the best finish to use on good that are in contact with food. 

Apply a diluted form of the finish as a first coat and let it draw in for 20 minutes or so. Wipe off the excess finish with an old rag. Leave to dry for a few hours. Give a light sanding with fine sandpaper. 
Repeat these steps using a non-diluted wood finish. 3 coats of finish did the trick here.

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    58 Discussions

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    mwatson16

    4 years ago

    I traced my Guitar Hero shape, will show how it goes. gonna do one out of mdf, so the wife can mosaic it with mirrors.

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    kilgore64

    6 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for the great idea, Gerrit! I whipped one of these out in a few hours on New Year's Eve to give to my friend who is a guitar nut. I had a wooden cutting board that I salvaged from the top of an old portable dishwasher that we got rid of about 20 years ago. I knew I'd find a use for it some day!! I was short on time so I skipped the hole (I just finished oiling the board as my friend was coming up the driveway).

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    jcookson

    6 years ago on Introduction

    Great idea! Made this as our gift to our guitar aficionado son-in-law. Great hit! I added a cheese cutting board the shape of a strat headstock (pictures when I get on my laptop -can't load from my iPad).

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    gerrit_hoekstraelhauk

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Oh yes, what a great collection of plans! Been looking for a collection like this for when I build a proper, non-culinary guitar.

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    shorepatrolcmalone

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Great, we can do this one together ! I certainly hope you do not mean twice as thick a one. All strats are good but I have a 66 with the original pickups and.....well it just"dont get no better". ENJOY YOURS TOO

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    WoundedEgo

    6 years ago on Introduction

    Slap a neck and some strings on that baby, because it looks ready to rock!!