Introduction: Knife Block - Warrior

Knife blocks are awesome - just grab the knife you need without searching through your drawers and start cutting. I got my basic inspiration for this project from the instructable "knife block" by Christian Knuell, which reminded me of the so called "voodo knife block". (Just type this into google images...)

However, I wanted to improve this design to look more realistic and to increase the number of knifes it can hold.

The resulting knife block resembles a spartan like warrior and can hold 15 knifes of different sizes

Here is the list of materials and tools I used:

- 6 mm and 12 mm ply wood (any other type of wood should be okay as well)

- Spray adhesive

- Scroll saw (alternatives: Jigsaw, CNC mill, ..)

- Wood glue

- Lead beads to fill the base (nails, nuts or any other heavy materials will do the trick as well)

- Sand paper

- Double-sided adhesive tape

- Magnet - 6mm diameter

- Drill

- Power tool with a drum sanding kit (can be accomplished with other tools as well)

Step 1: Making the Base

Since the knife block is supposed to hold a high number of knifes, I wanted the base to be heavy to achieve a good stability. Therefore, the base will be filled with lead beads (or any other heavy objects you have available, like nails or nuts).

Print out the attached pdf files for the base and use spray adhesive to attach them to 6 mm (bottom and top layer) and 12 mm (middle layer) ply wood. Then use your scroll saw to cut out the three parts.

Glue the bottom layer and the middle layer together. Once it is dry, fill the lead beads into the hollow space and glue on the top layer.

After drying, sand all sides of the base until satisfactory.

Step 2: Making the Warrior

For the warrior part print out the attached drawing and use spray adhesive to attach them to 6 mm (2 side layers) and 12 mm (middle layer) ply wood. Check out the instructions on the first pdf file. Then use your scroll saw to cut out the three parts.

Since the warrior fills out the whole A4 page it is possible that your printer can't handle the drawing. For that case, I additionally attached the warrior in two parts on two separate pages. Print out both of them and first attach one half onto your piece of wood. Then, cut some holes into the second half of the drawing. Place these holes in the overlapping section of both drawings directly on the lines. This way you should be able to properly align the second half of the drawing.

Glue all three layers together and be careful to properly align the three layers. During gluing press together all parts of the warrior using clamps (legs, arms, head....).

(The hands of the warrior on the images look different from the drawings because I made the design on the go. I provided the final design on the drawings for you.)

Use a 5 mm bit to drill a hole into the middle layer just above the head of the warrior (see drawing). Drill only halfway through! Then fit the 6mm magnet into the hole. It should be a tight fit. You can use a vice or a similar tool to press the magnet into the hole. In case you are using hard wood, you probably have to use a 6mm drill. If necessary, use glue fix the magnet in place.

Finally, use a power tool with a drum sanding kit to work out the warriors hand. Start working from the side where you placed the magnet. Sand down roughly until the middle of the wood (~12 mm). Depending on the shape of the knife handle, which you plan to place into the warriors hand, you can work out the hands shape to properly fit to this knife handle.

When I was finished with this part, I noticed that the wrist, which was going to hold the shield, was very thin. Therefore, i drilled a 4mm hole into the arm until i reached the elbow. I then entered a 4mm brass rod into the hole and glued in in place to strengthen the wrist section. In the uploaded drawing, I made the wrist thicker, so it should be fine. However, if you don't trust your wood, make the wrist even thicker or do the same as me.

Step 3: Sanding the Warrior

Sanding down the sides of the warrior part can be a pain, because you want to progress carefully to preserve all details. However, there is a nice trick.

There are special sanding strips available for your scroll saw. (enter "sanding stripes scroll saw" into google) I found them to be somewhat expensive. As an alternative you can make your own sanding stripes.

Apply double sided adhesive tape onto the back of some sanding paper. Take a preferably wide scroll saw blade. Cut of a stripe of the sanding paper with adhesive tape with a width of roughly 6 times the width of the scroll saw blade. Fold the stripe along the middle and then remove the back of the adhesive tape. Place the scroll saw blade with the flat side into the middle of the sanding paper and fold it again.

Now you can mount the self made sanding strip in your scroll saw and sand down the sides of the warrior until satisfactory. You will probably have to replace the sand paper on the scroll saw blade a couple of times during this process. If a lot of glue leaked out of the sides during gluing, you might want to remove the dried glue with a knife before you start the sanding.

Step 4: Adjustments for Your Knifes

The good thing about such a knife block is that it looks really nice. The bad thing is that it is not suited for all knifes. When the knife blade is heavier than the handle or if both parts are in balance (as it should be), the knife will sit nicely in the knife block. However, when the knife handle is heavier than the knife blade, the knife tends to fall out of the knife block. Therefore, it is highly recommended to adjust this final part for your knifes.

Focus on the knifes where the handle is heavier than the blade. For such knifes I found it best if the slits are about 1-2 mm longer than the height of the blade. For example, I have some knifes with a blade height of about 23 mm. For these I made the slits 25 mm long.

Print out the attached pdf, take a pen and adjust the length of the knife slits according to what you think is best for your knifes.

Step 5: Making the Shield

Print out the attached pdf files and use spray adhesive to attach them to 6 mm (front and back layer) and 12 mm (middle layer) ply wood. If you adjusted this part for your knifes in the previous step, use the adjusted drawing for the front layer.

Then use your scroll saw to cut out the three parts. Do not remove the drawing from the front layer after cutting!

Glue all three pieces together and be careful to properly align the three layers. After drying, sand all sides of the shield until satisfactory.

Use 3mm drills to drill holes at each end of the slits on the front layer. Stay just within the black rectangle of the slits. Be careful to drill in a 90° angle. For the two biggest slits in the middle, use 4mm drills.

Then, use a scroll saw to cut out the slits by cutting along the lines and connecting the two holes of each slit.

Sand the insides of the slits by using the self made sanding stripes for your scroll saw or by folding some sandpaper and pulling it forth and back through the slits. Also, sand slightly the edges of the slits.

Step 6: Assemble the Knife Block

When you finished the base, the warrior and the shield part, check again if everything is sanded properly. I also recommend to slightly sand all edges to prevent splintering later on.

Check if all parts fit together. If not, do some more sanding/ cutting until all parts fit together nicely.

Then glue the warrior onto the base. Make sure to align the parts in a 90° angle.

After drying, glue the shield to the warrior.

Step 7: Applying Finish

update*

Initially, I left my knife block untreated because I liked the look of the pure wood. However, after posting this instructable, I received a lot of comments suggesting to apply a finish for better durability. About half suggested I should use vegetable oil (linseed oil) and the other half suggested to use mineral oil...

I couldn't decide which one to choose. Therefore, I looked for a commercial finish that was specifically made for kitchen items. Finally, I selected the food safe worktop oil from Polyboy. Interestingly, this is a mixture from high quality linseed oil and mineral oil! Additionally, it contains some additives that are supposed to further enhance its performance. So far, I am completely satisfied with this oil finish.

To apply the oil finish, pour the oil over the knife block and use a soft cloth to distribute the oil all over all surfaces. Let it sit for a few minutes to let the wood absorb the oil. Then use a cloth to remove all the excess oil and let it dry for about a day. You can repeat this process to apply multiple layers of oil to further increase the durability. I applied two layers so far.

Since I used two different kinds of wood (i think birch for the middle layer and beech for the side layers), the resulting color after applying the finish is different. This gives a nice effect making the face and the crest on the helmet brighter.

Now you are done and can equip the warrior with your knifes.

Enjoy!

Comments

author
Me robot made it! (author)2017-05-19

awesome!

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Bastian-B made it! (author)Bastian-B2017-05-19

Thanks robot!

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Me robot made it! (author)Me robot 2017-07-24

Welcome

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BurlyWoodWorks - Create Something made it! (author)2017-06-16

Oh my gosh that is awesome!

author
Canvas of Dreams made it! (author)2017-05-17

So cool!!

author
Bastian-B made it! (author)Bastian-B2017-05-17

Thanks! Glad you like it ;)

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craftygirl5 made it! (author)craftygirl52017-06-03

hey mate, i wanna make this for my boyfriend for his birthday which is beginning next month, how long did it take you to make this?? i wanna try but don't wanna take too long haha

author
Bastian-B made it! (author)Bastian-B2017-06-04

Making it in about one month it absolutely doable, of cause it depends on whether you have all the tools available and how much time you have during that month..... It took me about a month to make it step by step in the evenings, but I developed and adjusted the design while I built it. Now that the plans are all done I would be much faster.

Making the base and shield is relatively quick. To speed up the sanding I would recommend using this, makes it much quicker to work larger surfaces..

The most time consuming part for me was cutting out the warrior and sanding the sides after gluing. Since I am perfectionist, I really took my time to sand everything nicely.

I wish you success!
author
craftygirl5 made it! (author)craftygirl52017-06-04

Yea fair enough thank you so much!

I do have a dremel i can use so that should be helpful in some areas, and also an electric sander so that could be of use too.

Thanks a mill!

author
Bastian-B made it! (author)Bastian-B2017-06-05

With those tools you should make it time for his birthday!

Send me some pictures when you are done, please! Good luck!

author
craftygirl5 made it! (author)craftygirl52017-06-05

Perfect thank you!

Will do thanks again! :)

author
Nanok made it! (author)2017-05-25

Very nice and inspirating, thanks for sharing it. Maybe magnets could be sandwiched in the shield to help more kind of knifes to hold in place. I'll probably give it a try.

author
Bastian-B made it! (author)Bastian-B2017-05-29

Hey, I tried a similar approach, but it didn't work for me. I tried to place the magnets in the middle layer close to the knife slits, however that did't help to hold the knifes in place.

Maybe you have a better design or stronger magnets, than I had. Please let me know if you find a solution!

author
erana_reborn made it! (author)2017-05-21

A surprisingly good wood finish for a kitchen item is simple vegetable oil. It brings out the grain and seals the wood.

author
antennas made it! (author)antennas2017-05-21

No, mineral oil, as it won't go rancid. Vegetable is not a good idea.

author
Bastian-B made it! (author)Bastian-B2017-05-23

Thanks for your advice!

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Bastian-B made it! (author)Bastian-B2017-05-21

Thanks for your advice!

I think, you are the third person now suggesting to use vegetable oil for a finish. The others told me to use Linseed oil. So, I will probably go along with you guys and do it in the next few days... I will update the post then. See ya

author
kc5qnk made it! (author)kc5qnk2017-05-22

I strongly recommend food-grade mineral oil (sold at kitchen supply stores for wooden cutting boards), as it won't get rancid like vegetable oil will. Cheers!

author
Bastian-B made it! (author)Bastian-B2017-05-23

Just when I thought I knew what to do there I get more comments saying I shouldn't do it ;)

Thanks for your advice! I guess I will go and by an oil finish specifically made for kitchen items.. Some of the ones i can buy here in Germany are still based on Linseed oil but they have some additional additives... That should be safe though...

author
kim01506 made it! (author)2017-05-22

What a cool knife block! Great instructions too, thanks!

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Bastian-B made it! (author)Bastian-B2017-05-23

Thank you!

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HeidiSN made it! (author)2017-05-20

Coolest knife block ever!!!

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Bastian-B made it! (author)Bastian-B2017-05-21

Thanks a lot!

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EcoExpatMike made it! (author)2017-05-18

Awesome. Next it needs a painting guide!

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Bastian-B made it! (author)Bastian-B2017-05-19

Thanks! You can paint yours as you like, but I like mine like it is - the raw wood look..

Send me photos if you paint one of these!

author
EcoExpatMike made it! (author)EcoExpatMike2017-05-19

I can see! I just think it would be cool with nice paint job. Perhaps in the USC colors! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InjF8xj93LU

I would say that you might consider coating it with Linseed oil or similar to prevent random kitchen ick from contaminating it...

author
Bastian-B made it! (author)Bastian-B2017-05-19

Yeah I get your point - in that case it would need a cape as well ;)

I plan to apply some Linseed oil when I see first signs of damage. I am testing how long it lasts without finish, first.

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saldali2001 made it! (author)2017-05-18

OMG! This is so cute! I forwarded your design to some friends from Michigan State. Love it!

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Bastian-B made it! (author)Bastian-B2017-05-18

Hey don't say cute - it's a mighty spartan warrior!

Just kidding... ;) Thanks!

Haha, I didn't know Michigan State University had this logo!! If you friends build one, make sure to send some pictures!

author
Epimethius made it! (author)2017-05-18

Wonderful! It inspires many other designs.

Much better than teh commercial plastic human figure pierced with knives.

author
Bastian-B made it! (author)Bastian-B2017-05-18

Haha, I was thinking about buying this commercial plastic human figure pierced with knives for about five years now..... I like my version better as well - thanks!

One other design I thought about was making a kneeing warrior with his shield up horizontally as if he was protecting himself from arrows. Then it would be less critical whether the knife's blade and handle are balanced or not...

author
deluges made it! (author)2017-05-18

Really neat! I agree that you could finish it though, especially to prevent it from molding.. Just a little bit of mineral oil goes a long way and it doesn't remove the "raw" look

author
Bastian-B made it! (author)Bastian-B2017-05-18

Thanks! I placed it at some distance to our stove and sink to protect it :)
When I see first signs of damage I plane to apply varnish.
However, your idea to use mineral oil sounds great, i might try that!

author
deluges made it! (author)deluges2017-05-18

What I like about mineral oil is how it doesn't change the texture of the wood taht much yet makes the grain stand out. I used it in a bunch of my projects, you can get an idea of how it looks

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Bastian-B made it! (author)Bastian-B2017-05-18

I had a look at your projects - I liked the Cured Beef best, looks yummy! For your projects you are using a paraffin oil:hexane mix or linseed oil. You state both are food safe and the outcome looks good to me in both cases.

Can you explain whats the difference or what is better for which purpose? I'm a real beginner when it come to finish...

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deluges made it! (author)deluges2017-05-18

ha thanks, it was but didn't survive my family's appetite long enough!

The only difference I've seen between linseed and paraffin oil is that linseed gives a slightly more yellow-ish color and tends to darken over time (In linseed oil, which is of organic origin, you have molecules that slowly oxydize and change color. Those are not found in the petrol-sourced paraffin oil)

The finishing texture is not really the same either as linseed oil will "dry", or rather polymerize under the action of oxygen in the air giving a film-like finish on the surface whereas paraffin oil won't.

But again linseed oil is renewably sourced! The choice is up to you

Those differences are very minor, especially on a piece that's not bound to be exposed to the outside elements. I would go with either without worrying too much, and you should always try the finish on a hidden part of your project so why not try both at the bottom for instance.

Oh and the reason why I use hexane is just to make the paraffin oil penetrate better in the depth of the wood, then hexane evaporates and leaves the paraffin oil behind.

Attached is a picture of the biggest thing I've finished with linseed oil so far, which will likely turn to grey over the course of the next ten years.

20161102_162845.jpg
author
Bastian-B made it! (author)Bastian-B2017-05-18

Thanks a lot for your explanations!

Using hexane sounds clever, I will remember that ;)

Yeah, I will probably try the finish on a separate piece of wood first.

Gotta go cut some wood now...

author
ata1anta made it! (author)2017-05-18

Awesome. I don't have the skills or tools to do this myself (may ask a woodworker I know to make it for me ;) )

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Bastian-B made it! (author)Bastian-B2017-05-18

The most important tool for me was the scroll saw. I got a relatively cheap one from amazon for 120€.

I hope your woodworker says yes :D

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clim1127 made it! (author)2017-05-17

i made it!

IMG_6061.JPG
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Bastian-B made it! (author)Bastian-B2017-05-18

you kidding me?!

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georgemorgan made it! (author)2017-05-18

Best Knife holder I've ever seen. I really enjoyed this instructable, Beautifully done. Thanks for the post.

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Bastian-B made it! (author)Bastian-B2017-05-18

Thanks a lot!!

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CalebGreer made it! (author)2017-05-18

SPARTANS!!! TONIGHT, WE DINE IN HELL!

*That evening*

"Achilles, that's a really nice knife block."

"Thanks, I got it from Bastian-B."
"Huh. Cool."

author
Bastian-B made it! (author)Bastian-B2017-05-18

Hell yeah!

That gave me a big smile :)

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miner1964 made it! (author)2017-05-18

nice job, always wanted to make one, now i have no excuse

Thank you for the time you took to share with us

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Bastian-B made it! (author)Bastian-B2017-05-18

Thanks!

In that case I will be waiting for pictures of yours ;)

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Treasure Tabby made it! (author)2017-05-17

My dad would love this. Only he would probably change the base with metel. He has lots of scrap to choose from. :)

author
Bastian-B made it! (author)Bastian-B2017-05-17

I would be interested to see a metal version of this!

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