Kitchen knife block or wall-mounted knife holder design


We've got a number of knives that live on the counter top. It's driving me crazy, but I don't allow them in the drawers. Some are very good knives, and very sharp. Do you guys have any interesting design ideas I could scarf?
There seem to be pros and cons to having the knives racked on the wall, or sticking out of a block.
Wall mounted pros:
1. Completely off the counter 2. Potentially good looking with lots of wood showing 3. Takes less room when transporting (I intend to move someday)
Cons:
1. We tend to clutter our counter with small appliances. Access to a wall mounted holder may be a bit less than easy, and I know messy hands will reach for them. 2. Horizontal knife orientation is the only option. Our wall is under a counter and our knives are long enough. 3. Some damage to wall to mount it. Next owners probably won't appreciate holes. Need to remember to exclude it from deal when selling the house, or risk losing hundreds of dollars worth of knives due to legailities. 4. May not be so easy to clean; I guarantee it's going to get splattered. 5. Sharpening steel is from Lee Valley, and handle design would make it stick out. Probably not a big deal, but I'm just thinking out loud.
Note: Under cupboard option is a possibility. I haven't given it much thought. Maybe I should. Seems cumbersome to use when I visualize it in action, though. Your experience?
Counter top block pros:
1. Easy to access 2. Fairly compact (uses 3 dimensions instead of 2) 3. Many different styles to choose from 4. More portable, as long as it isn't tipped. 5. More potential for interesting designs (is this true?)
Cons:
1. Harder to clean 2. Harder to build 3. Takes up counter space (but of course it's better than nothing, which is what we're using now) 4. A tip/spill could be disastrous
I can think of more, but these are the main ones. Here are my must-haves:
1. Must be easy to clean 2. Must be safe - must be stable, and all sharp edges must be completely covered 3. Must be within my reach as a woodworker
Like to have: 1. Reasonably portable 2. Reconfigurable as my knife collection changes (but at the moment I'm leaning towards just bettering my skills and using "replacement" as an option to deal with this issue). 3. Stylish - anyone can buy a simple block--see ebay.
This one is very cool: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/ny/cookware/boa-clam-knife-block-002214 I'm afraid my bandsaw isn't up to the job, though. But the idea of using super magnets is very appealing. It solves a lot of problems: I can clean by disassembling, I can easily reconfigure by replacing interior separator blocks, and I get to play with magnets.
Wall mounted, I'm thinking of a kind of long wooden hook that covers the blade, and it extends around the tip of the knife to cover it, too, top and bottom. You just stick the knife tip into the end and have it rest on the long ledge of the hook. For portability, drill two holes close to where the handle goes. On moving day twist-tie it in place. The tip cover holds its end, the twist tie the other. How clever am I?
Eye-candy: http://www.techeblog.com/index.php/tech-gadget/human-head-shaped-knife-block http://www.iwantoneofthose.com/search.do?productCode=KNIBLO (Amazon.com product link shortened) I think this one has a bolt that goes all the way through. Good idea for cleaning.
This is all I came up with in the 1/2 hour I've been thinking about it. One result of the process is that I had a neat idea for a holder for one of the knives that we take camping. Usually I just make a guard out of tape and cardboard. I think I can make it over the weekend, so I'll show you pictures if the result is okay.
What I would like from you are any additional suggestions and advice, stuff I haven't thought of, and your usage experiences. I've never owned or used one of these. My parents keep their knives in the drawer and they're as dull as my dad can make them on his belt sander.
Thanks, everyone!
- Owen -
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Owen Lawrence wrote:

1. Take a slab of wood
2. Cut appropriately spaced grooves in it with a table/radial saw
3. Put slab in drawer. Now all clutter is gone but each knife has its own little home.
For example...
http://mysite.verizon.net/xico/Pix/kniferack3.JPG
I glued shallow splines into the grooves but they aren't needed.
--

dadiOH
____________________________
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

So I'm not the only woodworker who spends time on his knife HANDLES? My wife laughs at me a bit for that, but still appreciates it. Looks nice, Andy
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Owen, I have built 2 knife racks for our set of knives. Many years ago I built a 4 legged butcher block and built a knife rack that hung on the side of the butcher block. I used old style screen window hangers to mount it to the block. This make removal easy and simple. The knives were in single file along the back side of the block. The draw back is that we seldom moved the knife rack and ended up having to walk to the butcher block each time we wanted to use the knives.
Later I built a counter top block that works well and is easily moved out of the way when more room is needed or when you want to work elsewhere.
I do not recall having ever cleaned either block so keeping them clean is not really an issue. The slots go all the way through on both knife blocks. Also, we have never knocked it over.
I posted a pic on a.b.p.w.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Owen Lawrence wrote:

go to a pro chef shop. look at the tool rolls they sell for knives. might work for ya.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Owen Lawrence wrote:
> We've got a number of knives that live on the counter top. It's driving > me crazy, but I don't allow them in the drawers. Some are very good knives, > and very sharp. Do you guys have any interesting design ideas I could > scarf?
<snip>
First you have to design this puppy.
Use Leon's picture as a reference.
Measure up all your knives to determine the needed size of the slots.
This rack is for good knives only. Time to bite the bullet and trash the junk.
Don't forget to include the steel.
Use some graph paper to make a layout using the slot info above and assuming you will use 3/4" finish boards. (I sometimes use 5/4 stock for variety.)
Go to your favorite hardwood dealer and look at the "drop off" pile.
I like to use contrasting woods such as maple, cherry, walnut, etc.
Pick out some boards 15"-18" long, 5"-6" wide and arrange them in the color pattern of choice.
Time for some wood working.
Cut boards to req'd size, cut slots per layout (dado or router), then glue boards together.
(You may want to use 1/4" blind dowels to maintain registration during glue up)
After glue up, cut bottom angle if you want one, sand as req'd, treat with BLO and enjoy.
Lew
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Owen Lawrence wrote:

Stryped built a nice solution to that problem.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Here's a prototype I'm playing with.
<
http://www.balderstone.ca/knives.jpg
Inside the cage are a variety of diameter dowels, from 1/8 to 1/4. The knives/cleavers/steel just slide between them in no fixed position.
This is based on a design I saw that was a solid box filled with bamboo skewers. When I built this prototype I didn't have a source for skewers in bulk, but now I think I do and may try one with those.
djb
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Owen,
Just a thought during reading you post, when creating a knife block from glue-ups, have you thought about putting small, inset, rare earth magnets inside, such that they are at an appropriate position to just hold the end of each knife when inserted - this may help with one of your reservations about tipping the block over...
Mike
Snip

Snip
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I recently built one by turning a 6" drum on the lathe, then put the drum under the radial arm saw and cut slots for the knives. Glued inserts into the outside of the slots, back on the lathe to turn it smooth, varnished, disk of felt underneath. Didn't bother with an angled stand, but that could be done to taste. Works a treat for us.
-P.
--
=========================================
firstname dot lastname at gmail fullstop com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Wow, you guys really came through! Some very interesting ideas there.
I'll respond with a few comments:
1. I don't have any more drawer space. But even if I did I wouldn't want to put the knives in there. That would mean that I'd always be opening the drawer to get what I need. I know what will happen: the drawer knob will get covered with gunk and the drawer itself will get filled with crumbs. I've lived long enough to know that idea simple won't work in my household. But nice work, dadiOH!
2. Maybe cleaning isn't such a big issue afterall, but I still think it will be for us (please see comment #1, above). If it turns out I don't need to clean it in the first 20 or 30 years (I expect to use it myself for at least another 40), then the next one will be simpler.
3. "First you have to design this puppy." First I need to formulate and choose a concept. I haven't reached the design stage yet.
4. I obviously missed Stryped's solution. Any more data? I can't seem to find his postings.
5. I did think about putting magnets next to the knives. I suppose if I was very delicate about it I could make it work, but I don't want the magnet scraping the finish on the knives (they're like mirrrors and I like them that way). Also , I don't want to have to use two hands to pull out the knife (one to hold the block down). Friends of ours have one of those magnetic strips attached to the wall for their knives. I've used it but can't say I like the way it works. But inside a block I'm sure it would work a lot better.
If I seem fussy, that's my prerogative, and the main reason I do woodworking. Only my wife and my boss get to overrule me, and my boss only gets to do it so often before he gets replaced.
6. The cage of dowels and the 6" drum ideas are really cool. I wonder if you could buy chopsticks in bulk cheap enough. The Japanese ones are tapered. I don't have a RAS but it shouldn't be too hard to fashion a clamp for my TS sled. I've got a huge chunk of apple wood that might do the trick.
7. "good knives only." Good idea. Not that any of the following matters to anyone but me, but one of my knives is a fork. I just did a count. 1 fork, 3 majors knives, 1 steel, 4 paring knives. Someday maybe I'll add a cleaver and a fillet knife, but this version isn't going to have room for them. Now that I've thought about it I can get rid of the cheapies with a clear conscience.
Thanks guys, great job! Any more ideas? Keep 'em coming!
- Owen -
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Before I did the "cage of dowels" I had a magnetic bar under the cupboards. Knocking the handle of a knife meant it fell, though. Perhaps rare earth mags wouldn't have that problem.
What about inside a cupboard door? Magnet mount?
Lift up part of the countertop? Pull out like a cutting board?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Dave Balderstone wrote:

Under cabinet pull down? Here's a commercial version <http://shop.merillat.com/merillat/knife-rack.asp and Lee Valley has thenecessary brackets
(I've seen them in brass somewhere but can't find them now).
--
--John
to email, dial "usenet" and validate
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Owen Lawrence wrote:
> 7. "good knives only." Good idea. Not that any of the following matters > to anyone but me, but one of my knives is a fork.
NBD if the tines are straight.
> I just did a count. 1 > fork, 3 majors knives, 1 steel, 4 paring knives. Someday maybe I'll add a > cleaver and a fillet knife, but this version isn't going to have room for > them.
Add a set of steak knives and all that will still fit in a 6" dp x 12" wide x 12" tall block.
> Now that I've thought about it I can get rid of the cheapies with a > clear conscience.
Probably best part of the project.<G>
Lew
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.