I am planning on making a large, magnetic block knife holder. How
would I go about getting a nice piece of steel, say an 1/8 inch thick
and cut in the shape that I need, that would be magnetic so as to hold
I'd go along with the rare earth magnets. But if he still wants the
appearance, he should rout out for the steel, then rout holes behind
that [from the front] for the magnets. The glued-in steel [or drill
and screw] will hold the knives anywhere along the length.
Easiest thing is to buy a cheap, but ugly, magnetic knife rack and
re-use the innards.
The usual design is two steel strips, edge on to the knives, and
either a number of small magnets, or a magnetic strip between them.
Good magnetic racks have "pole pieces", some magnetic but unmagnetised
iron that "connects" both poles of the magnet to the knife, and has
them spaced a short distance apart. If you use a powerful rare-earth
magnet in a drilled hole, you only expose one pole of the magnet. This
gives you clamping that's too strong when close up and falls off
immediately with distance. They're good clamps like that,but nasty for
storage - they "snatch" when you get close..
The commercial magnic racks I have seen do not look very satisfactory.
If you do not cleanly grab the one knife you want you run the risk of
dislodging three or four at once. I don't want my hand in the midst of
all those falling knives.
I believe one could do a decent job with rare earth magnets but one
needs a good demonstration model before building a finished product.
The old method of slots works very well. I have mounted a set of
horizontal slots just under the cupboard so the knives do not take any
counter space. They are firmly supported and easy to grab.
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