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Knife block build (pic heavy) - Printable Version

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Knife block build (pic heavy) - OneStaple - 11-07-2019

Hey all,

I recently completed a new knife block for my kitchen and thought I'd share. This design is completely my own. First some final pictures and then some WIP pictures.

Details of note (no particular order):

1. This is made of some scraps of crotch/flame walnut, scraps of curly maple, and some hard maple. One piece of walnut had a significant crack due to drying that couldn't be easily put back together (thus the resin). There's a picture of it in the WIP part.

2. Each side and the top are magnetic. Three vertical rows of continuous 1/2" round rare-earth magnets on the sides. One continuous row of 1/2" magnets down the middle of the top for paring/small knives. All magnets are backed by a bar of steel.

3. Each horizontal knife slot has one or two small 1/4" magnets (one in the center of narrower slots, two spaced out on wider slots). It provides just enough downward pull on the blade to keep a handle-heavy knife from being tilted in the slot. They provide almost unnoticeable resistance to inserting/removing knives.

4. The base dimensions are about 12" x 6". The top dimensions are about 8-1/4" x 3-5/8". The height is about 15". This takes up only slightly more room than my previous, generic, piece-of-junk knife block (see picture of knife blocks on the counter). I also couldn't fit all my knives in the previous block and had to keep about 8 of them in wooden sayas in a drawer. (Sayas are essentially wooden sheaths used for storing/transporting knives, usually of the Japanese variety).

5. This sucker is HEAVY, being essentially solid wood. It comes in at 18 pounds. No threat of tipping over when you grab a knife. There are also rubber feet on the bottom to give an air gap and keep it from sliding on the counter.

6. The slots vary in width from 34mm to 100mm (1.5" to 4"). The bottom slot is sized specifically for my cleaver.

7. I spaced the slots/sides such that it's comfortable to grab a handle, regardless of location.

8. The side walnut pieces are attached to the center maple pieces with a flexible epoxy (West System G/Flex) to allow for some differential expansion/contraction of the woods through the seasons.

9. I wanted something that could hold a lot of knives without taking up a lot of room. I also wanted at least some magnetic holding capabilities for my carbon knives.

10. I probably have room to fit about 9 more decent sized knives (~2" tall) in/on the block. Seems like justification to get more. I also plan to get rid of some existing ones (especially if I ever try my hand at making knives).

11. Also displayed in the pictures is my meager knife collection. I've been getting into Japanese knives and would like to try my hand at making some eventually. Some are cheap and specifically for visitors to use.

12. Forgive my poor photography skills. I tried using some tips from online, but photography isn’t my forte.


RE: Knife block build (pic heavy) - OneStaple - 11-07-2019

Hmmm, I tried to replace some of the pictures in the first post so I could make them smaller, but the forum decided to post them before I told it to and now I can't edit/delete them. Sorry! It also didn't post all the pictures. Weird.

Anyway, here are more...

RE: Knife block build (pic heavy) - OneStaple - 11-07-2019

Some WIP pictures.

1 and 2. Pictures of the rough walnut, including the cracked piece.
3. Pieces rough cut to size.
4. Cutting matching angles on the sides. This took tape "shims" to creep up on it. Very tedious.
5 and 6. Cutting the end angles to match. Again, tape shims. The knife slots have already been cut at this point (after the side angles were done).
7. Dowels were used to keep each piece in the stack aligned.
8. Dry stacked parts with all angles and slots cut. Only the top walnut/maple pieces are glued at this point.
9. Small magnets in each slot (with blue tape on top in this picture) to hold handle-heavy knives parallel in the slot. The other two holes are for dowels.

RE: Knife block build (pic heavy) - OneStaple - 11-07-2019

10. Initial epoxy pour.
11 and 12. Slots routed in back for magnets. And magnets caulked in place (to allow for wood movement vs. the metal bar behind the magnets). This walnut will be trimmed significantly on one side and the top.
13. Using hand planes and a random-orbit sander to flatten/clean up the maple after gluing pieces together.
14. Glue up of the sides to the main body. A special jig was necessary due to the angles to keep the clamps from sliding.

Then just final trimming, sanding, and finishing!

Thanks for looking!

RE: Knife block build (pic heavy) - stav - 11-07-2019

I really like your result.  That is much cooler than the stock one that came w my set of crappy knives.

RE: Knife block build (pic heavy) - fredhargis - 11-07-2019

Indeed it is very cool! Thanks for the photos.

RE: Knife block build (pic heavy) - jamesglenn - 11-07-2019

That is one great knife holder. More like a show piece for the kitchen.

Now I am thinking I need a nice contemporary piece for my knives.

Awesome job!

RE: Knife block build (pic heavy) - Mr Eddie - 11-07-2019

I really like the design and how well the different woods blend together.  The epoxy adds a nice splash of color.  What/How did you do the finish?


RE: Knife block build (pic heavy) - cputnam - 11-07-2019

Interesting! Thanks for sharing

RE: Knife block build (pic heavy) - shoottmx - 11-07-2019

Geez, one really involved knife holder! Great looking result. Congrats,