Someone recently requested that I make a knife rack out of danggai for her, but she wanted it to be only 12" long. Well, here's the result...
For the buyer:
Congratulations! It turned out wonderfully, and I'm serious when I say you're going to be hard-pressed to find this wood anywhere else.
To mount it to the wall - just run screws or nails into a stud and slid it into place. Because it's shorter than 16" (the common distance between studs) you may need to put a molly into place for one of the mounting screws.
To care for it: It's hard wood, it's durable. That being said... just try to avoid abusing it and it will last forever. The wood is forgiving on your knives and even though the magnets will slap the blades into place, the blades will always win. All I did to finish the rack is to put butcher's block oil on it. It's food safe and protective. However, it is not permanent. I'd suggest putting another coat of oil on every once in a while... whenever you look at it and think: "Hmmm... could use a little refresher." That's when you should put another coat on.
Also, if you happen to scuff it up, feel free to give it a little sanding, another coat of oil, and presto-chango: You've got a brand new-looking knife strip.
For the rest of the world who may (or may not but you're reading anyway so...) be interested:
The material, danggai, is an exceptionally beautiful wood. This piece of it turned out to capture both its great variable colors, from light tans, to deeply rich red browns. Some parts of it actually have a chatoyancy, or apparent 3-dimensional character. Its irregular grain in one part is wonderfully contrasted with its more regular grain in another.
|Why does this wood have to be so hard to acquire? Seriously, how awesome does that look?|
|Back of the knife rack - showing keyhole mounting slot|
At 12 inches it's a much more compact piece. Its ideal for a few commonly-used knives. Put a chef's, santoku, bread, and paring, and you've got the most important knives of a set prominently displayed. Or, go with the chef's, nakiri, santoku, and slicer, just because they're the biggest knives you've got and you want to take an impressive picture.