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I got a couple months ago a chef knife as a present from my grand-parents and so far I kept it in its plastic box in a drawer when I wasn't using it. But those times are over! It is indeed a beautiful object and I wanted to bring it on to my kitchen desk, with a hint of style. So I started thinking about making a wood block for it and as I was browsing Instructables, I found a couple designs but mine is somehow different from what I found so I thought I'd write about it. Let's get to work!
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Step 1: Tools and Materials
For this project, we will need a dozen cows, three eggs, chives, a rainbow, and actually we won't.
Scroll saw (or a coping saw) with good blades
Japanese saw (or an american one, I just use and liek the Japanese ones so much more. Sorry America! You're welcome Japan)
Belt sander (not so optional this time I'm afraid!)
A precise metal ruler
Clamps or a vise
Sandpaper (I used 120, 220 & 400 grit)
Ye old paintbrush
A thick block of a wood of your choosing. Dimensions are, in centimeters, (bladelength + 3)*(bladewidth + 2)*6
A thin sheet of wood. Dimensions are, in centimeters : (bladelength + 3)*(bladewidth + 2)*(bladethickness + 0.2)
4 centimeters screws (two of 'em)
Public radio! It's great in France, maybe it's great in your country as well?
Apple juice (or whisky, choose your poison for that matter)
Two hours of actual work plus drying time of both the glue and the linseed oil
Step 2: Cut the Wood
So let's start by marking the middle of your block of wood and mark the middle of the four 6cm lengths on both end faces. Done? Good, join the lines, and split the block in two equal halves using the handsaw. Make sure that your cut is extremely straight and flat or you will spend forever and half sanding what you should not have been sanding. It is crucial that both halves are really flat and that they match perfectly because you will need to glue them by sandwiching the middle part later on and there is very little margin for error here. Take your time, go slowly and don't forget that practice makes you sweat. Wait no, practice makes perfect. That's it :)
Once you are done, you can outline one of the halves onto the thinner piece of wood and cut out the rectangular shape. Then outline the shape of the blade of your knife on that rectangular piece of wood. I suggest leaving an extra millimeter on each side and marking which side of the thin wood is going to be the back and the front of the blade, you will need that for later. Don't worry about angles, just put the blade parallel to the thin sheet of wood and make sure of how much of it sticks out of the block. (Sorry but I forgot to take a picture of this step!)
Step 3: Sanding the Middle Part, Glueing, Sanding Again
Once everything is cut, make a test sandwich (you can also go make a real one I think it's safe to day you've earned it. If you live in a country with no sandwiches now that is just plain sad) by stacking the three parts with your blade inside. If you feel like your blade is too wiggly inside, It surely is because the thin piece of wood is not thin enough. Sand it down with a belt sander but make sure that it always sands it flat and square. Else, you'll have to start over again because it won't match your halves. Once you reached desired thickness, are you happy with it? Lets say you are! And move on to glueing everything. Clamp it for at least a couple hours.
Once it dried, remove the excess glue with rough sandpaper and then you can sand the outside of the block. I used 120, 220 and then 400 grit.
Step 4: Cut and Paste
You now need your block to be ergonomic and that it directs the blade towards you when it is set on the desk : choose an angle you like and cut it!
Good, now you need stability. For that, I simply used the piece I just cut out and put it on the inside of the angle to help support the block, it worked like a charm! Make sure when you cut it to cut towards the inside of the blade, else you knife will point the wrong way.
Step 5: Finishing
I finished with non-toxic linseed oil, I applied a first generous layer and let it soak in for 30 minutes then removed the excess oil and let it dry overnight. I then applied a thinner second coat and let it dry for an afternoon. I then rubbed the finished block with a cotton cloth to make it really smooooooooth.
And you're done! This is a good project for any household and you can give it any style you want by picking your species of wood and colors, you could also make a mutliple-knife one with more than only two species of wood… Possibilities are numerous.
Thanks for reading all of this, if you liked it you can check my other i'bles and vote for me in the wood contest!
See you around,
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