My issue with conventional knife holders is that they're often covered in metal, which means that there's the potential for the blade edge to get a nicked or damaged. That's just simply not a possibility with this wooden one. Furthermore, the ones that are made of wood are often cheaply made with weak magnets that don't sufficiently hold large 8" or 9" chefs knives. This knife holder does double duty as being both uniquely decorative, and is a step up from what's commercially available.
Step 1: Make stock material and cut off a strip
Other tools this Instructable will require are basic wood working tools like:
- miter saw
- table saw
- router and router table
- palm sander
- various clamps
Other materials this Instructable will require are
- Elmer's® Carpenter's® Wood Glue
- rare earth magnets (.5"x.5"x.125")
- two part epoxy
- scrap wood
- food safe wood finish
- keyhole hangers
Quantities of these materials depends on the scale of the project.
Step 2: Miter saw edges to prepare for gluing
Step 3: Glue two strips together (if necessary)
Step 4: Sand off the glue
Step 5: Cut a groove
Make multiple passes, cutting deeper with the router on each one. Remove material until you come within a comfortable distance of the top of the strip. The goal is to leave as little material as possible in place, as this will be the barrier between your magnets and your knives. Less material = more holding power. I came to within a 1/8th or so of the top of the strip and my magnets have plenty of holding power on the knives.
Step 6: Cut a spline that fits
Step 7: Cap with more scrap material
Sand off of any glue marks after the clamps have been removed and the glue has set.
You can avoid this step by cutting your grove with a router and plunge base, and not routing out material all the way to the end of your strip. Gluing on end caps wasn't too big of a chore for me, so I just quickly zipped it through the router table in step 5.
Step 8: Round over the edges
One thing I do recommend is to use a sacrificial piece of wood as a followthrough to reduce tear out when you get to the end of a pass.
Step 9: Sand the strip with random orbital sander
Step 10: Insert magnets
Lay the magnets out into strips making sure to keep all the poles going in the same direction. You can tell this easily because if the poles are misaligned, the magnet will repel the one adjacent to it. If it attracts, you know the poles are good to go.
The magnets I'm using are 1/2" W x 1/2" L x 1/8" thick rare earth magnets.
I wanted to make registration points for certain large knives that I own and make sure that there would be no chance of knocking one knife into another when placing them on the strip. To do this I made sections, or small clusters of magnets that were seperated by short sections 1/8" acrylic material. The acrylic spacers allow me to control the groups of magnets. See 3rd photo and photo notes below for more detail.
Lay out the strip of magnets and then gently transfer them into the bottom of the groove. Insert spacers (optional) as you see fit to create knife groupings or clusters.
Step 11: Epoxy magnets in place
Step 12: Glue spline in place
Apply clamps and let the epoxy set. I used masking tape to protect my clamp heads so that they wouldn't become epoxied in place from any squeeze out that might occur.
Once the epoxy has set, remove the clamps and sand off any glue marks.
Step 13: Apply food safe finish
Let your finish dry and repeat for a second coat if necessary.
Step 14: Drill cut outs for flush mount hanging bracket
Apply blue painters tape to any at-risk surface to avoid scratching the strip in these final few processes.
Drill three holes with a forstner bit that matches the exact outer radius of your keyhole hanger, making the center hole a touch deeper to allow for the screw head.
Step 15: Use chisel to finish cut outs for hanging bracket
Step 16: Mount bracket
If you haven't used a Vix Bit before, you should give them a shot - they are perfectly designed for this application and are quite pleasing to use. They self-center!
Step 17: Set anchors in wall and hang in kitchen
The keyhole hangers push the strip away from the wall ever so slightly and when placing or removing a knife from the strip, the strip did a little shimmy. I used the soft side of an adhesive velcro strip as a thickness pad to take up the room between the strip and the wool - worked like a charm.
If you make your own magnetic knife rack post it in the comments below - I'd love to see what you come up with - so post photos please! Thanks for reading and leave comments with questions if you've got them.