Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Maple and Walnut Bamboo Skewer Knife Block 1.0

Now I just need a real katana
The thing about magnetic knife strips is that there are plenty of reasons why you wouldn't want one in their kitchen. You might have kids and not want the blades exposed. You might have overhead cabinets that make the strip impractical to hang on a wall, or maybe a ceramic backsplash that you don't want to drill through to mount the strip.

With that in mind, I figured I'd make a variant on a traditional knife block. Instead of the traditional cut out slots for your knives, I put together a more versatile take on a knife block that uses bamboo skewers to hold the knives.

Oh, I suppose you want to actually see it. I guess you'll just have to read on...

It's criticism that I've heard on more than one occasion: The magnetic knife racks are a little impractical (I've also been told that they're the kind of thing a serial killer would have in their kitchen, so, um... they're great for Dexter?). I realize that they're not for everyone's kitchen, and I'd seen knife blocks filled with rice, so I decided to build a box, fill it with skewers, and see how it looks.

Cool. It looks cool.
The bamboo skewers (1200+ of them) leave enough space to slide a blade between them, but there's enough f them in a restricted volume so that there is enough tension that they hold the blades in place once you slide them into the block. It's slick looking, and it won't dull your knives.

"He must be using someone's fancy new camera." Nailed it.
I happened to have 5/8" thick pieces of maple lying around, so I used it for the body of the block. I ran into a little trouble mitering the edges (problem solved after the fact), so I needed to trim the box up. And, you guessed it, had some small pieces of scrap walnut lying around. Seriously, that's how I chose the materials for this project.

Walnut trim, mitered at the top
The 'feet' (um, things the box is leaning against) are also walnut. I have a fairly long, pretty warped, piece of 8/4 walnut, so I cut off some of the salvageable bits it to form the box's supports.

Unfortunately they are neither flying nor buttresses
You can also see how glossy a "gloss" polyurethane finish is without any polishing. I have a small bit amount of one kind of finish that I'm trying to finish off, and it turned out nicely.

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