Introduction: Reclaimed Wood Magnetic Knife Rack

I have been wanting to order high powered neodymium magnets for sometime now.. well my friend recommended k&j magnetics and i purchased 100 of their 5/16" D55 with 5 pounds of 'pull force'.. They are basically about the size of an eraser on a pencil.. to give you an idea how strong they are.. about 3/4 of the people i have given them to could separate two magnets, and a 1/4 could not.

I decided to make a magnetic knife rack and put it on the side the side of the fridge.. which would otherwise be dead space. I reused damaged the doug fir floor boards, and some door casing that were pulled out when we started the project.

Material and Required Tools:

5/16" D55 Neodymium Magnets
Wood scraps, reclaimed floor boards
Antique/distressed hardware

Table Saw
Drill Press/Power Drill
5/16" Drill Bit
Painter's Tape
Wood Glue

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Step 1: Select, Cut, and Glue

Gather assorted wood scraps or reclaimed floor boards that have similar dimensions in length, width, and especially thickness. Organize the boards in a way that mixes colors, woods, and is aesthetically appealing. You will need to decide on a thickness that you will use for all boards, the lowest common denominator will always be your baseline for thickness.

-Check each board for nails and other non-wood material, and remove, this will prevent the planer blades from being damaged.
-Set your depth and begin to run the boards through a planer, remember to take light passes usually no thicker than 1/32"
-Next you will need to run each board through your table saw taking off just enough of each side to create a clean and square edge
-Once you have squared all your edges, dry fit the boards up next to eachother and see if there are any gaps or breaks in contact, if so flip the board over on the saw and give it another pass to square the edge up
-Now you can apply wood glue to each board edge that will be making contact, ensure that there is total coverage for each contact point. Excess glue can be removed, too little may make for a broken seam. 
-Set up your clamps on an even surface and place the boards in the clamps, allow 4-6 hours to dry if in a low-humidity, room temperature environment. 

Step 2: Drill, Insert Magnets

Next you will need to order/obtain (75) neodymium high powered magnets..  Make sure to have a drill bit that matches the diameter of your magnets. I ordered 5/16" diameter x 5/16" thick magnets because it is a common size and it would be small enough to fit inside the old floorboards i was repurposing. 

-For the magnets to be most effective you will need to get as close to the surface of the wood as possible, leaving an 1/8" layer of wood if possible
-If you have a drill press you can set the depth and start drilling your holes for the magnets
-If you don't have a drill press, you can do what i did below and use painters tape to mark your depth on the drill bit to prevent from breaching the surface
-Try and dry fit a magnet in the hole you have drilled, if its snug you might be able to hammer it in with something that is softer than metal and has a similar surface area as the magnet. (this will prevent the magnet from chipping or being damaged)
-If there is any wiggle room, or it can be tapped in without much pressure, you will need to back fill it with epoxy to make sure it will stay in place

Step 3: Mount, and Enjoy!

Now you will need to attach the knife rack to your wall/fridge/cabinets.. i used the original hinge screws and wood as a clever way to secure it to the side of the fridge. You could also countersink the screws, or if you are going into brick you can use  lag shields to anchor your board. If you are mounting onto drywall/plaster I would recommend molly/toggle bolts to securely fasten it. 

The thicker the knife, the more force the magnets will have.. so this board is going to be ideal for your larger cleaver's and french knives. You may want to put extra antique hardware on your board for you bread and paring knives that have a slimmer profile. 

Hope you enjoyed this project. :D

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