Hardwood knife block; vertical storage to save space, with a fun grid pattern. A really successful project that was a heap of fun to design and build.
On the design side of things, I wanted something that took up less bench space than our old knife block, and would fit all our knives, which our old one didn’t. So I opted for a vertical storeage block, and came up with a fun design using a grid like pattern for some strips to keep the knives in place, but allow a bit easier access so you don’t have to lift the knife all the way up to get it out. (Something I needed as we have overhanging cupboards where I plan to store it).
I had a long thin offcut from the benchtop of my laundry storage unit. As luck would have it, there was just enough length to get all the parts I needed. Woot for zero spend on materials!
I really wish I had a thicknesser at this point, but alas, I had to make do with just my tablesaw and a little care. I thinned down the blocks to three different thicknesses, getting coated in saw dust despite my dust extractor and shop vac working overtime.
The cuts weren’t perfect by any stretch, but close enough so I could then smooth out with a hand plane. Definitely a lot of learning on this project as getting such little pieces square and flat is not an easy task it seems.
After cleaning up all these parts, it was back onto the table saw to cut them down to the final widths. Some thin backing boards and square strips cut up from the scraps, which go together a little like this.
Next those slots. I clamped up my stack of uprights into one block, then cut out a few slots of roughly 5mm wide and 10mm deep, spaced 10mm apart. (Pitty this stack was just a little too big for my box joint jig.)
Then I cut up some more of that scrap to fit the freshly cut grooves. This finally gave me enough parts to do the glue up. Glueing all these parts together took ages, even after I bought a couple more clamps to speed up the process. The trick was clamping things so those gaps didn’t collapse and to keep things as square as I could.
Now the fun bit was putting the horizontal pieces in. Because none of this was perfectly cut, it needed smoothing out. But as I was working late at night I didn’t want the noise of the sander, so I re-sharpend my hand plane and tried planing at a 45 degree angle so it wouldn’t break out despite the grain running is perpendicular directions. Worked a treat! I’m really getting a kick out of learning how to use hand tools properly.
I had originally planned to use the wide gap on the right to store scissors, but they didn’t sit very well with the space I allowed, so instead I used that space for a carving fork, and added a U shape bracket to the side for the scissors.
A final sanding and a finish applied and this custom made beauty was done. It’s super stable and takes up a lot less space than our old block, yet stores more knives. Very happy with how this turned out.