I have finished the knife drawer for my mom. The drawer is made out of
red oak. The top is hard maple. The cutting board is removable. The
drawer is stained with 2 coats of polyurethane on it. The top is
stained with mineral oil.
Can anyone offer me some critique? Be gentle it is my first real
project and dont with an old 99 dollar delta bench top saw and a 99
dollar router and table. (Yyobi).
Let me know if this does not work:
Looks great! Don't let the peer pressure of this group keep you from
doing good work with the tools you have. I've seen great work from
cheap tools, and poor work from expensive tools. The point of hobbyist
woodworking is to have fun with the process, and if you learn something
along the way, and you get something useable at the end, you're good.
Keep it up, have fun, experiment, learn from your mistakes and your
One question on your project - are there going to be dividers in the
drawer to keep the knives from dinging each other up?
And one nitpick about your post - you say it's "stained" with poly and
mineral oil - staining generally refers to adding pigment/color to your
workpiece, while finishing is the more general term for adding a
protective coat of poly/varnish/lacquer/shellac/oil/etc. Did you stain
the wood also, or just add the colorless finish? It looks like the red
oak is stained and the maple isn't, but you don't specify. I'm not
sure I like that particular color on red oak, but I do like the
contrast with the maple. It does look like it matches the cabinets in
the background, so if that's your goal, good job.
The real question is, do you like it? What would you do differently
next time? I'm sure your mom will love it.
Keep it up,
Yes, I stained the red oak and then put two coats of polyurethane on
top of it. The stain actually was the same stain used to stain my mom's
cabinets and it just so happend to match my cabinets here.
What about the color do you not like? What typically is the color red
oak is stained with?
I read and learned on this group that you have to use a food safe
finish for a cutting board. So I used mineral oil. (It is all I had
and the local hardware store did not sell any food safe finishes.)
I did use a router mounted in a table. It is a cheap ryobi. I wish I
had a better table saw and a jointer.
I like your idea on the dividers. I never thought of that.
My mom says she really likes it. I think she is not going
First, it doesn't matter what I think of the color - it matches your
mom's kitchen, and if that's the color she picked, then it's the
perfect color. Personally, I usually prefer clear finishes without
stain, or a lighter colored stain. Part of the reason I like working
wood is to enjoy and show off it's natural beauty, and stain is often
not necessary for that. I think red oak looks particularly good with
orange shellac and no other color, but I don't particularly like orange
shellac on white oak. Oh, well.
First, just about any finish is theoretically food-safe once it
polymerizes, but you don't want a finish that hardens on a cutting
board, or else you will cut through it and chip it up. That's one of
the reasons mineral oil is good - it doesn't polymerize, but it doesn't
go rancid like some cooking oils. You'll probably need to re-apply
more mineral oil every once in a while when the board starts looking
I was thinking of something like the picture at
but it doesn't need to be nearly this complicated. Just a couple
boards running perpendicular to the drawer, with some slits so the
knives rest securely with the blade facing down.
Google knife drawer if you want some more inspiration.
See? It wasn't all that hard, was it? It looks good, stryped.
As someone suggested, an insert in the drawer to keep knives in place so
they don't get dinged up would be nice. An easy way...
1. glue up solid wood at least 3/4" thick so you have a piece that will just
fit in the drawer
2. using the saw, cut parallel groves in it but don't cut all the way
through. Groove depth/spacing depends on the blades that will be sitting in
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