I have a favorite knife that I use all the time... I mean ALL the time, for almost any job. Many cooks are like me in this regard. Sure, the occasional pairing or bread cutting task may send me to the knife drawer to get out something different, but I was sick of opening the drawer every time for the one knife I almost always use, in my case an 8" chef knife (actually it's a Japanese gyuto with a western handle, but close to a french chef's).
This instructable is so simple that is almost isn't worth posting, except the idea has worked out very well for me so I thought I'd share it. I cut a slot in a board, added some magnets and glued it to my backsplash where I lean my cutting boards. This knife is now always convenient and safe and the knife drawer isn't being opened 20 times a day!
Step 1: Materials and Tools
The materials required for this project are a chunk of wood large enough to cover the blade of your knife and some strong magnets.
For my holder I used an old piece of oak floor board which was laying around but any piece of wood thick enough to get your knife handle away from the back surface would work.
I purchased some 12mm x 2mm Neodymium magnets on eBay for a few dollars and ended up using 4 stacks of 3 magnets to hold the knife securely enough that I felt it was safe.
For tools, I used a radial arm saw 'cause that's what I own, but a table saw would be better. A chisel and some sandpaper strip are also needed to help shape the slot entry. You'll also need an appropriately sized forstner bit or other flat bottomed drill (1/2" works perfectly for 12mm magnets) and hot-melt-glue.
Lastly, I made a paper template of my knife's blade shape so I could judge the size of the wood and slot.
Step 2: Cut the Wood
First cut the block of wood to size using the paper template as a guide. I ended up keeping the groove side of the floorboard to create my entry slot and trimming off the tongue.
The diagram shows roughly how to rip the slot into the block and where to drill flat bottomed holes for the magnets. This is all very approximate and done strictly by eyeball, checking with the paper template.
The one place to be careful is the depth of the magnet holes - here you want to drill as deep as possible to get the magnets as close to the knife as possible without actually going through to the slot. You could glue on a top for this holder to fully capture the blade and not use magnets, but this arrangement makes it very easy to get the knife in and out.
Step 3: Sand, Add Magnets, Install
I used a hand chisel and some strips of sandpaper to round out the slot along both the long top edge and short front edge to make it easier to slide the knife in. Long strips of sandpaper work really well to get to the inside edge of the long side of the slot.
The magnets are simply hot-glued in and then the finished assembly is hot-glued to the backsplash in a convenient location. At first I had mine too close to the window and it was easy enough to pry off and re-glue in a better spot but holds well enough that it won't come off by accident.
I didn't apply a finish to this holder as the sanded raw oak looks good with my blond birch cabinets, but I'll put a coat of mineral oil on it to protect it from splashes. You may want to stain or otherwise treat it to match your kitchen.
Projects don't get much simpler than this, but for me, this worked out as a really good idea!