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How to Make a Wood Kitchen Knife Block
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This stylish kitchen knife block will hold everything you will need. Kitchen knives include: paring, utility, tomato, boning, bread, and chef's knife. It also includes six steak knives in addition to a pair of shears and a sharpening steel. It is make of solid maple and includes four rubber feet to help prevent skidding and to keep the wood off damp areas. This block will provide easy access to your kitchen knives as well as be an attractive fixture on your counter top.

Wooden Kitchen Knife Block
Click On Image to See Larger Scalable Drawing

Technical Information for Making a Wooden Kitchen Knife Block

A. Materials List:

QUANTITY
LETTER
NAME
SIZE
MATERIAL
WOOD SPECIES
1
A
Rearr Block
2 3/8" x 5 1/2" x 9 1/2"
American Elm
American Elm
American Elm
1
B
Center Block
1 5/8" x 5 1/2" x 9 1/2"
American Elm
1
C
Front Block
3 1/2" x 6" x 8 3/4" 
American Elm
2
D
Front/Back
3/8" x 5 1/2" x 9 1/2"
American Elm
2
E
Sides
1/4" x 4 3/4" x 9 1/2"
American Elm
4
F
Feet
1/4" x 5/8" Diameter
Rubber

B. Cutting & Gluing Procedures:

  1. One 1" x 6 1/2" x 30" board and one 2" x 6 1/2" x 40" board will be required for this project.
  2. Joint one edge of each board.
  3. Plane the boards once on each side.
  4. Use a radial arm saw to cut off 10" from each board to form the rear block (A). Apply wood glue on one face of each board and clamp them securely with hand screw clamps. Be sure to spread the glue evenly over the entire area of the boards. Allow the glue to dry over night.
  5. Use a radial arm saw to cut off two 9" lengths from the 2" thick board to form the front block (C). Glue and clamp the two boards together in the same manner as stated in step #4.
  6. Plane the rear block (A) 2 3/8" thick. Use a radial arm saw to cut the block to 9 1/2". With a table saw rip the block 5 9/16" wide and then joint it to 5 1/2" wide.
  7. Cut off another 10" piece from the 2" thick board to form the center block (B). Plane the block to 1 5/8". With a radial arm saw, cut the block to 9 1/2". With a table saw rip the block 5 9/16" wide and then joint it to 5 1/2" wide.
  8. Plane the front block (C) to 3 1/2". Use a radial arm saw to cut the block to 8 3/4". With a table saw rip the block 6 1/16" wide and then joint it to 6" wide.
  9. Cut off 20" of the 1" board. Set up the fence on the band saw and re-saw the board into two 1/2" thick boards. Rip one of the boards 5 9/16" wide and then joint it 5 1/2" wide. Plane the board to 3/8", and then cut two pieces 9 1/2" for the front and back boards (D). Rip the other 20" board 4 13/16" wide and joint it 4 3/4" wide. Plane the board to 1/4", and then cut two pieces 9 1/2" for the sides (E).
  10. Use rear block (A) to cut slots for the kitchen knives and shears. Adjust he table saw fence 5/16" from the blade. Set the blade height to 2" and make repeated cuts, by adjusting the fence, to cut the kitchen shears slot 7/16" wide from the rear face of the block. Adjust the fence 1 1/4" beyond the kitchen shears slot and set the blade height to 1 1/2" to cut a 1/8" wide slot for the bread knife. Adjust the fence another 1 1/4" and set the blade height to 2" to cut a 1/8" wide slot for the chef's knife.
  11. Use center block (B) to cut slots for remaining kitchen knives. Adjust the table saw fence 1/4" from the blade. Set the blade height to 1" and cut a 1/8" wide slot for the paring knife from the front face of the block. Adjust the fence 1 1/2" beyond the paring knife slot and set the blade height to 1 1/4" to cut a 1/8" wide slot for the utility knife. Repeat the previous procedure to cut the slots for the tomato knife and the boning knife.
  12. Use the front block (C) to cut the slots for the steak knives. Adjust the table saw fence 7/16" from the blade. Set the blade height to 7/8" and cut a 1/8" slot. Readjust the fence 7/8" from the slot and cut another 1/8" slot. Repeat the previous procedure to cut the remaining slots for the steak knives.
  13. Apply glue to the inside faces of blocks (A) and (B). Use hand screw clamps to clamp them together securely.
  14. After the glue has dried, glue and clamp the front and back (D) onto the assembly block (A)& (B). Be sure to clean out any glue in the slots immediately after gluing.
  15. Glue and clamp the sides (E) onto the block assembly (A), (B), & (D).
  16. Glue and clamp the front block (C) onto the front face of the block assembly (A), (B), (D), & (E). Be sure that the blocks are flush at the bottom, and that any glue in the steak knife slots is cleaned out immediately.
  17. At the top/right corner of the knife block, measure 19/32" from the back and 3/4" from the side. Draw intersecting lines to locate a center. Use a square to plumb the block from the front and the side. Use a clamp to secure the block in this position for drilling. Use a long 7/16" drill bit and drill press to drill through the block at the center mark for the sharpening steel.
  18. With the knife block on its side, make a pencil mark 1 3/4" from the bottom/left edge. Also place a mark 6 1/2" up from the bottom/right edge. Draw a straight line between the two marks. Use a band saw to cut off the excess wood from the bottom/right corner of the block.
  19. With the block on its side, place a pencil mark 2 1/4" over from the top/right corner of block (C). Draw a straight line from the mark to the right edge of block (C). Use a band saw to cut off the excess wood from the top/right corner of block (C). This cut will be a 90 degree angle to the previous cut.
  20. Use a belt sander to sand the surfaces of the kitchen knife block.
  21. Use a router and a 3/4" round over bit to round the outer edges of the kitchen knife block.
  22. Hand sand the block using 80 grit sand paper for the rough sanding. Use 120 grit sand paper for the intermediate sanding and 220 grit sandpaper for the finish sanding.

C. Finish Procedure:

  1. Use a tack rag to remove any sanding dust.
  2. Apply a clear finish such as Varathane, Polyurethane, Lacquer, etc. using a bristle brush. Allow the finish to dry over night.
  3. Lightly hand sand the knife block with 220 grit sandpaper.
  4. Again, use a tack rag to remove sanding dust.
  5. Apply a second coat of finish.
  6. If additional finish coats are desired, repeat steps #3-5 for each coat.
  7. When completely dry, attach the rubber feet in the bottom corners with 3/8" brads.

Congratulations, your wooden kitchen knife block is finished and ready to use!

Related Woodworking Plans:
How to Make a Cutting Board

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