Well, I have been leeching this site for over two years and I'm finally comming out of the woodwork for (ironically) the Craftsman contest. My grandfather was a Craftsman Man, and I am too, and it intrigued me enough to enter a submission.
My girlfriend's birthday was approaching and I wanted to make her something really nice, unique, and inexpensive. This project has a significant price range, depending on how much equipment/tools a person already has.
This design is fantastic. I have seen the concept floating around the internet. While traditional blocks offer solidarity, a very sterile and precise look, this skewer design offers extreme flexibility and is able to be deep cleaned, a very tedious experience for a solid block. As your knife collection shrinks and grows, this block can accomodate any variation.
I should have seen this comming, given the bamboo, but the block ends up having a slight asian feel to it, and since we both appreciate that, it was an added bonus.
These instructions are most helpful to beginners and casual craftsman. The elite woodworkers and SuperNoobs won't find this too helpful.
Disclaimer: There may be abundant compliments to Craftsman, but I assure you it is not an attempt to win the contest. I am a fan, and have genuine opinions about the company.
You will need:
I used 1 6ft plank of pine 6 inches wide by 3/4in thick . Your exact lumber needs will depend on your specific knife block. My block was 10.5 in high, 6in wide (on all 4 sides.) I chose these dimensions based on 1) maximum anticipated length of knives to be owned and 2) ease of buying the lumber I did. I beleive the board cost me around 7 dollars from Home Depot.
Bamboo Skewers. LOTS . I could not believe how much this project's cost began to inflate after buying the skewers. I spent around $35 on them. Don't be discouraged, I seriously miscalculated my needs and upped my order to get a discount. I ordered about 3000, and ended up using 1000? 1200 tops. I did extensive searching and the best place I found is here: http://www.webstaurantstore.com/10-bamboo-skewer-100-bag/48510SKEW.html
Plan to spend $2.00 to $2.50 in the store per 100 skewers. Make sure you are aware of the length and thickness of the ones you order. You want the block top to be slightly taller than your long pointies.
Tools: Here's where it gets good.
I have a crappy work surface so clamps are my lifeblood. I use these from Craftsman. http://www.craftsman.com/shc/s/p_10155_12602_00931482000P? you are going to replicate this project exactly, get a size bigger because these don't quite clamp the larger dimensions of the block.
Power Drill. A light weight one will be fine for this project.
Power Palm Sander. My grandfather used the one in the photo when I was a kid. He has since passed away, but the sander still sands. This is what they have today. http://www.craftsman.com/shc/s/p_10155_12602_00911177000P?vName=Power+Tools+%26+Equipment&keyword=sander&prdNo=22&blockNo=22&blockType=L22
Sand Paper. Ranging from 120-600. The higher you go, the better and better it gets.
Finish. Not pictured, its up to you. I used simple polyeurethane. Paint or stain will work great as well.
Power Sabre Saw. Unless you're really good with a hand saw. This is mine http://www.craftsman.com/shc/s/p_10155_12602_00902190000P?vName=Power+Tools+%26+Equipment&cName=Power+Tools&keyword=sabre+saw&prdNo=4&blockNo=4&blockType=L4
Combination Square. Absolutely necessary unless you want a crooked unsqyared behemouth.
1in Brass Wood Screws are what I used, though brass are for show. Regular will work fine.
1/8th in Drill Bit and Phillips Drive Bit.
I forgot, a 1/4in bit as well, or anything big enough to sink the screws you are using.