Wooden Army of the Dead (Cheese) Dagger




About: I'm a part-time builder/blogger that loves tinkering in my shop on woodworking projects, fixing stuff around the house and tending to our flock of backyard chickens. For more projects check out my site at ww...

With Halloween right around the corner, it was time to prepare for some fun pops of spooky when our crew comes over to greet the neighborhood as they come to trick or treat. Zombies need to eat things other than brains, so with a little scrap wood I made this wooden dagger that we're going to use as a soft cheese knife for our Halloween snack spread.

Check out these easy steps to making your own and if you watch the video, please subscribe to my channel, Lazy Guy DIY and give the video a thumbs up!




  • 2 pieces of scrap wood at least 10" long for the blades. The purple heart and zebra wood started out as 0.75" thick but I re-sawed it.
  • 1 piece of scrap wood at least 5" and 1" wide for the sales. I used cherry wood and re-sawed it to 1"x5"x0.75"
  • Sanding Sponges
  • Food Safe Wood Oil
  • Food Safe Wood Wax
  • Wood Glue


  • Table Saw
  • Jig Saw
  • Spindle Sander

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Step 1: Plan Out Design

The one thing I learned from myfirst wooden knife is that you should go in with a plan. I roughed out my dimensions and design on a piece of paper. If you're feeling really ambitious you can cut out your design and attach it with spray adhesive so you can match you design exactly.

I ignored my own advice and my final knife looks nothing like my original concept. Whoops.

I then cut my pieces of scrap wood down to size (purple heart wood & zebra wood for the blade and cherry wood for the scales). Then manually transferred my design onto one of the blade pieces.

For this knife I'm going to have the purple heart wood transition to the zebra wood on the blade.

Step 2: Cut Out Knife Profile

Since I had to re-saw the scrap pieces of wood for the blades, I sanded them smooth so the pieces would laminate evenly, then I attached the 3 layers with double sided tape.

Using a jig saw, I cut out the profile of the blade onto all three pieces that will make up the cutting surface.

Step 3: FInal Blade Prep

In order to get the transition from purple heart to zebra wood, I cut off an 1/8" from the spine of the zebra wood blade. This way, when stacked and laminated, the purple heart wood will stick out slightly farther.

I then set the table saw fence the width of the scales (handles) and trimmed off any excess from the blades prior to the glue up.

Step 4: Glue Up & Clamp Up

With everything cut to size and shape, I laminated the 5 layers using wood clue and then clamped over night. It might look big and bulky now... but that's what sanding is for!

Step 5: Sand to Shape & Size

Using a belt and spindle sander I began to bulk remove material. The belt sander works best for initial removal, but then to work your way into detail shapes, you'll want to use the spindle attachments.

To achieve the bone handle look, I started with the largest spindle attachment and began to rough out my cut outs. I'd sand in a groove and spin the handle to evenly remove material.

Progressively work down to the smallest spindle to really work in the grooves for the spooky spine effect. You don't have to be perfect, but you want to make sure the handle isn't uneven.

Because this is a smaller cheese knife (dagger) I only created three finger holds, but if you make a bigger knife, you'll want 4 finger holds for a more comfortable grip.

Step 6: Final Sanding

Once you're off the spindle sander, take sanding sponges from grits 150-400 and finish the sanding process. The sanding sponges are great for detail work and getting into awkward spots a normal sander can't reach. Before your final sanding grits, raise the grain with a little water and then sand to get the smoothest finish.

Step 7: Apply Finish

For a final finish I used a Food Safe Wood Oil that I applied and let dry over night. Then I went back and applied a food safe wood wax to keep it fresh!

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    6 Discussions


    2 months ago

    Man That is So Cool!!! Great job man! I think when I end up making one I will try to find a way to add Ceramic or Metal between two layers of the blade to make a Real Edge with a wooden blade, I wonder what kind of wood would be dense enough to make an actual sharp edge, I know you dont "need" a sharp edge for a Dagger... but why not? Have you made any Swords?

    1 reply

    Reply 2 months ago

    You definitely can put a piece of metal or ceramic in the middle. If you were to shape the wooden part of the knife first and then cut it in half on a bandsaw you could then laminate it together or add some pins to keep it all together. No swords. Yet... Ha!


    2 months ago

    Great contrast with the wood choices, and once you added the oil.. wow! Very nice results! : )

    1 reply

    Reply 2 months ago

    Thanks! The oil ups are always the best to really see it pop! Always such a fun reveal!

    Penolopy Bulnick

    2 months ago

    This is such a fancy cheese dagger! I love the way it was made so the purple wood shows up along the blade :)

    1 reply
    LazyGuyDIYPenolopy Bulnick

    Reply 2 months ago

    Thanks! I was really excited to see how it would pop with multiple layers.