In this instructable I am going to show you how to make an efficient storage solution for your knives and other culinary tools. I am a professional chef for a living, and bringing your own tools to work is the name of the game, especially when you are a caterer; part of being a caterer is going to all different places to cook i.e. inside office buildings, peoples homes, parks, etc. so being able to have a little mobile kitchen box is the best possible answer. This setup would also work amazingly for anyone who is a culinary student, or anyone who is an avid cook that want to there knives to be safe and protected.
Step 1: The Box
The box that I used is an aluminum tool case from harbor freight. I bought it for 25 dollars, it comes full of dividers and foam inserts, you can lose the dividers but save the foam. also the shoulder strap is optional (I don't use mine). also you can order one right here
Step 2: Making the supports for the knives
This part is pretty straight forward, all you need is some wood glue, a drill and a small saw.
What i did is found a small piece of thin plywood and cut it just to make a base to glue my two 3/4"x3/4" pieces to. then I drilled holes every 3/4" along the two pieces and glued them down to the piece of plywood. Then just take some small dowels and insert them into the holes with more wood glue, then wham bam thank you ma'am! you have the part the holds your knives in the upright and locked position. sitting next to the support in the photo is the pieces of foam that I cut just to go in the gaps between the legs of the supports.
Step 3: Put some blades in there
The next thing to do would be to lay your knives in there, in between the slats. I would highly recommend some kind of blade protector. you can use a simple plastic one that your blade slips into, these can be had for around a dollar each. Or you can go for the Cadillac of knife covers the knife safe by lamson sharp these range from between 2 and 6 dollars a piece depending on the size.
Step 4: Lets talk about knives
Ok so at this point you have a pretty sweet setup going but what kind of knives should a culinarian carry. That all depends on each individual, I myself am a severe bladeoholic, hell I'm a bladeophile! So I have duplicates of some knives, like a carry two different santokus and three paring knives but odds are you don't need to. So first things first the French or chef's knife. If I could have only one knife this would be it. I personally carry an 8 inch Shun chef's knife.
Another good knife to have that is basically interchangeable with the chef's knife is the santoku. I carry a Furi 6 inch granton edge santoku as well as a Kyocera ceramic santoku
Step 5: More multi purpose knives
Two other knives that are really not necessary to have but can be another alternative to a chef's knife or a santoku are:
a mini prep knife, its kind of like a small santoku. Mine is a global.
or a japanese style nakiri; also known as a vegetable cleaver. I use a shun from their wasabi line of knives.
Step 6: Boning Knife
The next knife is one that is an absolute necessity it is a flexible boning knife, this is used to clean and break down many different cuts of meat from beef to poultry to fish. I use a flexible boning knife made by J.A Henkels.
Step 7: Next up the bread knife
A good quality bread knife is indispensable, I am a huge fan of a scalloped blade rather than serrated. Scalloped seem to stay sharper longer. My current bread knife is by far the best i have ever used, the thing is like a bread scalpel. It is from Shun's pure komachi series of knives.
also kind of falls into the same category, I have what is called a bagel knife its like a bread knife but short and fat. I use mine for cutting tomatoes and delicate fruits. it is from Shun's pure komachi series
Step 8: The paring knife
one knife that everyone must have is a paring knife, a paring knife is good for doing anything from peeling ginger to mincing garlic. I carry three because as I said I have a knife addiction
I have a furi, a shun, and a l'econome
my favorite one is the l'econome you can get one online for about 5 dollars.
Step 9: Utility knife
To be honest about the only thing I use this for is slicing sush or carpaccio and other thin sliced stuff. the utility knife I have is a shun
Step 10: Last but not least the slicer
One other knife that you really should have is a decent slicer, great for filleting a side or salmon or slicing a beef roast, mine was a bit too long for my box so I had to saw the handle down to make it fit. I use a slicer made by Chicago cutlery.
Step 11: Garde Manger tools
I do a lot of fruit and vegatable carving as well as garde manger, so I made myself a small kit with the necessary tools to do a whole gamut of garde manger stuff. I found a little roll up kit and just built from there this kit includes:
Birds beak paring knife
thai style knife
micro parisienne scoop
large parisienne scoop
and a butter curler
Step 12: Other tools to complete your setup
Here are some of the other things that make the box of culinary wonder complete. I find myself using these items on a daily basis.
Vegetable peeler: I have three you only need one
A couple of small offset spatulas, I use them for everything from spreading chocolate to cool, to lifting and placing small things.
kitchen shears, great for cutting twine or trimming chives
egg topper, odds are you don't need one of these
small can opener, you definitely need one
instant read thermometer, one of the most important tools in the box
measuring spoons, I found some that fold up
Small pliers for pulling pin bones from fish fillets
infared thermometer, i use this for pulled sugar, melting chocolate, etc
Box cutter , for you guessed it ...opening boxes
a couple of small mandolins one the slices one that shreds
and last but not least a smal cutting board
Step 13: The complete box
Here is what the whole box looks like put together, you can fit a remarkable amount of tools in this box, and the best part is they stay all in place and secure. The box itself is super rugged and takes a lot of abuse. Well I hope everyone found this helpful. feel free to leave some comments and even ask some questions. Now get out there and cook!