Instructables

Magnetic knife rack built using hard drive magnets (without power tools)

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After obsessively taking apart numerous dead hard drives (befriend your IT folks, and you too can have this treasure), I've accumulated way too many of those powerful magnets. What to make? An anti-gravity device? No, that's too much work. I know -- a magnetic knife rack!
I wish I had more garage space for a table saw and a router, but ... hand tools will have to suffice.
 
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Step 1: Supplies and tools

Wood: 
I had some "left over" poplar planks ( 1/4 x 3 x 4  -- see picture for mm measurements) and several pieces of nice looking red wood of unknown provenance (5/16 by 1/4, 15 in long).  Poplar is a bit soft, so I am not sure how it's going to withstand daily use.  I expect to see scratches as time goes by.

Magnets:
Hard drive magnets still attached to flat brackets.  I got a bit greedy and used 7 magnets.  If I had to do it over (and I just might), I would have used 6 magnets to make the bar 15 inches long.  I decided to leave the magnets attached to brackets, because the brackets provided the spacing between magnets.  It was easy to glue them without magnets deciding to suddenly (and violently) to attach to each other.  There is a way to separate magnets from brackets -- using a large set of pliers and brute force -- that would make the bar a bit less heavy.

Tools and Supplies:
Saw (ideally with a miter box)
Sandpaper -- 220 and 400 grit
Wood glue
Superglue or epoxy
Clamps
Wood finish (or mineral oil)
Keyhole brackets for flush mounting to wall
Plastic bumpers (the kind used to protect cabinet doors) to help with flush mount and to protect wall
SIRJAMES092 months ago

Whoever said that quality does not look good, never worked a day in his/her life to appreciate quality.

Having said that, let me tell you that I think this was a well written project, a very educational project, and if you're waiting for me to say it looks like crap, it's not gonna happen.

I would LOVE to have this in my kitchen! I think it is very functional, very beautiful, And I thank you for sharing this with all of us here.

tzny (author)  SIRJAMES092 months ago
Thank you very much!
SIRJAMES09 tzny2 months ago
Mr.Tzny:
I never was one to beat around the bush, so that is why I said what I said.

I believe in leting your "yes" be yes, and your "No" be no....anything else is a lie in my opinion.

Yes I honestly did enjoy reading your ible, & I have already started collecting magnets from hard drives & anywhere else I can find them....I WANT this in my home & thanks to you, I will have it eventually.

TAke care
James
nevlis1 year ago
Are the magnets not strong enough to hold the knives the right way (handles on the bottom)?
tzny (author)  nevlis1 year ago
I didn't realize that handles at the top was the wrong way, I thought it was just a matter of personal preference :)
However, the magnets I used are definitely strong enough to hold knives either way. Magnets from different hard drives have different strength, and I picked the stronger ones for this project.
nevlis tzny1 year ago
I think it's just an ergonomics/matter of preference situation. While realizing that the popular method isn't the "correct" method, I have most often seen it done handles on bottom. Are these specifically old hdd's or specifically large capacity hdd's? How do you differentiate what drives would have a stronger magnet?

Also, thanks and it's super clean looking.
tzny (author)  nevlis1 year ago
You are correct -- I have also mostly seen pictures of similar bars with knife blades facing up. For some reason I prefer the way I pictured it.
Unfortunately I can't exactly remember which drives yielded stronger magnets. I think (but don't quote me) that older drives had stronger magnets. They may have been pretty old RAID array drives with higher capacities.
I think weaker HD magnets could still be used with slightly thinner wood. Other instructables used hardwood and router to create a deep groove, so that technique should work pretty well. And here's another one that used a metal "flange":
http://makezine.com/projects/magnetic-knife-rack/
Thank you very much for the compliment!
Matt
toodvs4u1 year ago
I wonder if you pull off the tab of a pop can and use it for the hanger on the back. Saw this as a picture hanger online.
tzny (author)  toodvs4u1 year ago
That's a clever use of a tab. Thanks for the tip -- I will definitely keep it mind for future projects.
ffgazoo1 year ago
A piece of driftwood would also be a nice touch. Great thought!
aaahotdog1 year ago
very nice
the best one I've seen thus far...