Invader Cutting Board

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Project by DannyBoy posted 09-04-2008 03:23 PM 2401 views 9 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

You may have seen one of these on the internet before, and yes that was my inspiration. A couple of my friends got married last month and I thought this was perfect for them because they love games and nostalgic stuff like this.

For those who don’t know (don’t be shy), the character is one of the invaders from the Space Invaders arcade game. It works perfect for a cutting board because of the large pixel graphics that they used back in the day.

Now, for how it was done…

The woods I used were maple (scraps from the shop, but I’m pretty sure it was rock maple) and purple heart. I considered two options: First: Cut each individual block (or pixel), arrange each column and glue, then gang-glue them. Second: (this is harder to describe, but made more sense to make) Found common patterns and made wider sections of them, cut them in halves or thirds, then glued them up.

All in all it went well. I had already made a few before, so other than a modified process for the graphic, the board went together quite easily. The only problem I had was a hot and dulling table saw blade which you can see the arches it made on the second shot (back side). Luckily, those tended to only appear on one side of each cut column so I was able to put them all on one side of the finished board.

Finishing was a breeze compared to the previous ones I did. I finally bought a random orbit sander and it made it much easier. Plus, the finished piece was much smoother because I went through the extra effort to raise the grain between sanding jobs. Basically, I would sand from low to high grit until smooth. Then, I’d wipe down the board with a wet cloth. Water absorbed into the end grain and would rough up the finish. So, I’d go through the grits again. By them time I had done this about four times, I could wipe it down with a wet cloth and it would stay smooth.

Lastly, I coated it with two coats of food safe mineral oil. It really deepens the color of the woods and makes it look great.

I always get a kick out of making things like this as gifts. My friends didn’t know I made it until I asked them to take a few pictures for my projects list (yeah, I forgot to take them myself). They replied back saying they were almost afraid to use it. Ha!

~Danny Boy

-- He said wood...

15 comments so far

View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1141 posts in 3992 days

#1 posted 09-04-2008 03:40 PM

I loved this idea when I first saw it, and this is a great reproduction, have to get around to making one myself (I’ve been saving the maple and walnut offcuts from my workbench to make one)

-- I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

View SteveKorz's profile


2134 posts in 3714 days

#2 posted 09-04-2008 03:42 PM

That’s pretty cool… creative idea. I bet they got a kick out of it when they got it.

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

View Ampeater's profile


440 posts in 3748 days

#3 posted 09-04-2008 03:57 PM

Very nice, but using it as a bullet-proof vest might be a little too much.

-- "A goal without a plan is a wish."

View woodyone's profile


231 posts in 3592 days

#4 posted 09-04-2008 04:03 PM

Like it very much, Good job.


-- Woody, UK

View Greg Wurst's profile

Greg Wurst

794 posts in 3833 days

#5 posted 09-04-2008 05:40 PM

Okay, I may have to make one of these for the wife. Other options would be Pac-Man or other classic 8-bit characters.

-- You're a unique and special person, just like everyone else.

View Kaytrim's profile


63 posts in 3576 days

#6 posted 09-04-2008 06:12 PM

A man after my own heart. Love the idea.

View Bigbuck's profile


1347 posts in 3664 days

#7 posted 09-04-2008 06:19 PM

Interesting design, nice job.

-- Glenn, New Mexico

View mattm's profile


27 posts in 3647 days

#8 posted 09-04-2008 07:06 PM

Now this is truly awesome. Excellent work!!

View macpiper's profile


56 posts in 3788 days

#9 posted 09-04-2008 09:10 PM

i knew i wasn’t fast enough on getting to this…..looks good.

isn’t purple heart toxic though?

View sidestepmcgee's profile


158 posts in 3725 days

#10 posted 09-05-2008 05:32 AM

what can i say man, freakin hot board.

-- eric post, tallahassee FL

View Callum Kendall's profile

Callum Kendall

1918 posts in 3704 days

#11 posted 09-07-2008 01:18 AM

Very cool!

Thanks for the post


-- For wood working podcasts with a twist check out

View ThePickledZebra's profile


28 posts in 3599 days

#12 posted 09-12-2008 03:54 AM

Ha! Awesome!

View UnstoppableDrew's profile


36 posts in 3464 days

#13 posted 12-05-2008 03:16 AM

Great idea. I’ve been thinking about trying to do something similar only making a platter by turning it.

-- Nothing looks worse on your outdoors resume than a list of the possible locations of your remains.

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3688 days

#14 posted 12-19-2008 11:13 PM

Looks good …I use the same grain raising techniques on my boards…..saves a lot of hassle if you do it before giving them to your customers / friends : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Fr. Thomas Bailey, OSB's profile

Fr. Thomas Bailey, OSB

79 posts in 1654 days

#15 posted 01-11-2014 04:47 AM

Woodworking and vintage gaming, such a great combination. Thanks for sharing, it turned out great!

-- Fr. Thomas,

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