Wood Knife Block With Copper Frame




I bought an expensive set of Chef Knives and needed a unique Knife Block to hold them.

Just so you know, I am new to wood working and soldering, so you don't need to be an expert in order to make this. It turned out to be exactly the way I envisioned it and never did draw a plan. It can be built to any size, the base rotates, magnets hold the knives in place with a plexiglass sheild for safety and it is solid.

The whole project took me about 15 hours to build and the main thing was I had fun doing it.(most of the time)

Tools Used

Table saw ( circular saw will work or just get the Hardware store to cut the wood to your dimensions. )

SolderingTorch, solder and flux ( if you don't want to solder, epoxy glue will work for the copper joints )

Palm Sander with fine and extra fine sand paper.

Multi-bit Screwdriver.

Pipe Cutter


Wood Clamps ( No wood clamps? Use something heavy ie: Books, tool box )


Hot Glue Gun


3 - 3/4" thick Oak cut 6.5"x10.5" ( I used Red Oak because I like the look of Oak. Any wood will work just find some with a cool grain pattern)

1 - 3/4" thick Oak cut 7.25"x10.5"

1 - 3/4" thick Oak cut 7.25"x7.25"

3 - 1/4" thick wood cut 6.5"x10.5" ( I used a cheap maple plywood for this )

4 Feet - 1/2" copper pipe

6 - 1/2" copper tee

11 - 1/2" 90 deg female/male copper elbows

4 - 1/2" 90 deg female/female copper elbows

12 - 1/2"x1/2" Standoffs

1 - 3/4 male threaded to 1/2 tube copper fitting

1 - Cast Brass 90 deg Drop Ear Elbow - 1/2" pipe

1 - Cast Brass 90 deg Drop Ear Elbow - 3/4" female threaded to 1/2" pipe

50 - 1/2" round Rare Earth Magnets.


1 - Swivel plate 3''x3''

4 - 1/2" Silicone Feet

Stain and Polyurethane

Wood Glue

9 - 1.5" Wood Screws

Step 1:

I cut the Oak into the sizes I need with a Table Saw. I chose 10.5" as the hight because the longest knife blade I have is 10". I also cut the 1/4" maple plywood.

Step 2:

I then marked the back of the Oak where I thought a magnet should go. Don't forget to leave room for the standoffs in each corner. Then carefully drilled 1/2" holes, 1/2" deep. (DO NOT drill through the wood)

Also, If you are making this and want to have the fork holder. Don't put magnets in that section, only a line of magnets should go where a knife will be placed.

I used a Plunge Router to drill my holes. If you are using a drill, wrap electrical tape around the drill bit so only 1/2" is showing so you know how deep to drill.

Step 3:

Drop a magnet in each hole. I then filled the holes with wood glue and also put thin lines of glue all over the back of the Oak before applying the 1/4" Maple Plywood. Clamp it for 24hrs. No clamps, just use something heavy on top.

Also if you look closely, you will see that I cut the Maple slightly larger then the Oak. It will be sanded down. I did this so I didn't have to be 100% accurate when I glued and clamped the two pieces of wood together.

Step 4:

The next day, I carefully used a chisel to push back the dried glue, so I could pinch it off before sanding. I then sanded all the wood starting with a fine grit and finishing with the very fine grit. I also quickly sanded the corners and edges. Don't forget to sand the two base pieces also. After sanding I wiped the boards down with a dry cloth. A damp or wet cloth will cause bumps and you will have to resand the wood, so use a dry cloth.

Step 5:

I then made the copper frame. This wasn't that hard to do. Build it from the bottom up using the wood as a height reference. Have fun with this part, build it like a puzzle. Use the female/male 90 deg to make tight bends like the images above.

Step 6:

I know I should have done this step before I stained. I did stain the holes after.

I used a 3/4" router bit to make the holes for the fork holder. ( Don't go through the wood, I went 1/2" deep. )

For the ones at the top I used a 3/4" bit but only 1/4" deep right in the center of the board.

Step 7:

Stain it whatever colour you want. I did three coats and yes I quickly sanded inbetween coats. Also don't forget to stain and sand in the direction of the grain.

Step 8:

I marked the spots where the standoffs are to go. I then drilled the 1/2" holes, 1/4" deep. I did 3 coats of Polyurethane.

Step 9:

I have never soldered before but have always wanted to try, so this is my first time at it. I watched a couple youtube videos on soldering copper pipe. It turned out to be easy and fun but be very careful the pipes get VERY hot.

When I was confident that the frame was right I started to solder the joints together. Don't solder all the joints. I marked the areas in the photos of the ones to solder and the ones not to solder.

If you aren't comfortable with soldering, I read that epoxy will work just as well.

Tips I found for soldering:

1 Sand and flux the joints.

2 Apply lots of heat to the joint and if the solder doesn't melt on contact, get it hotter.

3 The heat will suck the solder into the pipe.

CAUTION: Once again the pipes get VERY hot! Let it stand for atleast 30 min before attempting to touch it.

Step 10:

I took the pipes that I soldered and placed them in a tight container. I filled the container with 1/2 cup rock salt and vinigar to cover them. Let the pipes soak in it for 20 min shaking the contaner every 5 min. Look how clean that got them.

Step 11:

I predrilled the holes for the standoff screws and installed the standoffs. Don't drill through the other side of the wood and use small screws that wont poke through the back.

I drilled 4 tiny holes into the copper joint and then slid a finishing nail through for extra grab. I filled the holes, for the fork holder, half full of hot glue and then slid the side with the nail into the hot glue and let it set.

Step 12:

Since I had a drill bit taped so I wouldn't go through the wood. I predrilled screw holes where the swivel plate is to go on the main bottom plank the Oak cut to 7.25"x10.5". ( Don't drill through this board )

I did the same thing on the very bottom plank the Oak cut 7.25"x7.25". ( Drill through this board )

Don't screw this together yet just do the drilling.


Step 13:

Place the sides onto the bottom exactly where you want them to be. I then placed a piece of masking tape along the edge of the wood and then marked where the board ends on the tape.

I then cut 3 pieces of paper 1"x6.5" the same size as the bottoms of the sides. The red dots are the areas to predrill the holes for the bottom of the copper frame. Only drill 1/2" deep.

Step 14:

I marked the area for the predrill holes conecting the sides to the bottom. The screw will be going in 3/4" deep so be mindfull where standoffs, the copper for the fork holder and the magnets are. Hit the back of the screwdriver to mark the bottom wood and then fold up and tape the paper to the bottom and hit the screwdriver to mark the predrill hole. Do this for every side.

Drill all the holes on the bottom through the bottom board. For the sides drill 3/4" deep.

Step 15:

Lets put it all together. It has to be put together in these steps.

1 - Screw down the Cast Brass 90 deg Drop Ear Elbow - 3/4" female threaded to 1/2" pipe, to the bottom.

2 - Screw in the copper pipe before you screw in the side board. This is the hardest one to get in but once lined up screw the boards together with 1.5" wood screw.

3 - Screw down the other Cast Brass 90 deg Drop Ear Elbow.

4 - Screw on one of the sides. Holes are predrilled so they should fit perfectly.

5 - Connect the handle pipes to the frame.

6 - Screw on the last side board.

Step 16:

I connected the side copper pipes. Measured the length to cut for the finishing copper pipes and added the side pipes. These ones aren't soldered or glued they are just there for asthetics.

Step 17:

Next I put on the swivel plate. I had to get 4 - 1" screws with little nuts to hold it all together.

I predrilled the holes in Step 12 so this part is all ready to instal. Due to the design of the swivel I had to put the 1' screw in first, before I screwed in the wood screws to the bottom board of the main frame. Then connect the very bottom plate by pushing the 1" screws thought the predrilled bottom board and tightened the little nuts. As you can see the bottom has the little nuts and screws showing, so I bought 4 silicone feet to lift the nuts off the countertop.

Voila! Almost done!

Step 18:

I measured and then scored the plexiglass with a plexiglass knife. When the cut is about half way through, I put the cut edged along the edge of a table and quickly snapped the plexiglass down. Place the plexiglass on the knife block and mark where the holes need to be drilled into the plexiglass. Go slow when drilling plexiglass once it goes through, the drill bit could catch and break the plexi. So go SLOW!

I used a straight edge razor blade to clean up the cut sides of the plexiglass. Don't push the blade, I dragged the blade down the sides of the plexiglass removing any little bits.

I also had to use a dremel to fine tune the holes that I drilled into the plexiglass and then screwed the standoff bolt into place.

Step 19:

The fork holder is a sticky wall clip. Stick it to the knife block so that the teeth fit in the copper pipe and the fork rests on the wall clip.

Step 20:

Clean the knife block and put your knives in.




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    14 Discussions


    2 years ago

    I like your Shun Premier Collection! You have great knife tastes! :D Though glass is nice looking and shows off your beautiful knife set, it can be pretty rough on the edge, but I guess you probably know that already!

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    Never mind, its plexi, just realized that! Sorry for butting in! ^^''


    2 years ago

    Very nice workmanship..looks like something they would use in Iron Chef!

    wayne curie

    2 years ago

    good job, love the steam punk feel to it

    A Potts

    2 years ago

    Using a damp cloth while sanding is actually a technique called raising the grain. It will cause the ends of the woodgrain to stand up a bit. If you sand it while they're raised, they won't raise again if it gets wet, and it can help you to get a smoother finish.

    1 reply
    Chris RodeA Potts

    Reply 2 years ago

    I didn't know that. Thanks for the tip!!

    David Catriel

    2 years ago

    Really beautiful idea. Well done!


    2 years ago

    Really like the look and the design. The copper patina will look great over time, and don't like it, you can always sand it down and redo. Very cool.


    2 years ago

    Good finish, interesting design, a little too busy for my tastes but I love copper and wood. Not sure how long this copper will stay untarnished on the wear points. My one dis-like is calling soldering "welding". Just kinda cringe every time I read it

    1 reply
    Chris Rodeautocthon

    Reply 2 years ago

    Thanks, I changed all of the welding to soldering.

    For now I want to see what happens with the copper tarnish look. If I don't like it, I am going to shine the copper again and clearcoat it.

    Thanks again for pointing that out.


    2 years ago

    Brillant! Very intricate design (wood a bit dark for my taste) and great documentation.

    Chris Rode

    2 years ago

    Thanks!! It looks great in the kitchen. Might have use a few to many magnets but the knives sure do stick to it.


    2 years ago

    Very cool. I love how you can showcase your knives but they are still protected. Great project


    This is a really awesome design. I especially like how you can easily see all the knives before you pull them out.