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Designer knife block

5 versions of a magnetic knife block
Author: Meike, Germany
Online since: 01/06/2012, Number of visits: 357300
Table of Contents

Revolving magnetic knife block

My application is a magnetic knife block for my husband's self-forged damask knife.
With the help of a carpenter I mitred four side pieces, one bottom and one top piece out of birch-wood. (A much simpler, but less elegant solution would be a bunch of plywood!)
I drilled a hole in the bottom piece to fit the stainless steel pole (10 mm) and enlarged it a little bit with a round file, so the knife block would revolve easier.
I used a 20 mm centre bit (Forstnerbohrer) to drill three cavities at a distance of approx. 30 mm (one below the other) into the 4 side pieces. I made sure that about 4-5 mm of wood remained towards the outside as to not penetrate the wood entirely with the drill bit.
Then I glued the 12 disc magnets 20x10 mm into the holes with a strong adhesive and thereafter glued the six wood pieces together.
With a 12 mm drill, I drilled a cavity into the inside of the top piece to hold the pole.
I had a stonemason make me an almost square base piece with a hole for the stainless steel pole. Both pieces I connected with a strong adhesive.
After everything was dry, I sanded down the block with a progressively finer grit until it was beautifully smooth. Next, I treated it with linseed oil (olive oil would work too).
Then it was time to put the wooden block on the stainless steel pole - done!
Beautiful and amazingly strong!
The forged knife has a blade length of 19 cm (+ 11 cm handle) and weighs about 200 g. The other knives are store-bought and lighter, like a bread knife with a blade length of 20 cm, weighing 90 g.
How well they stick to the magnetic block is demonstrated in the following video.

Magnetic knife block made of old oak wood

Additional comment by Clemens Dörr, Bremerhaven, saebelwerk.de (Germany):
I handcrafted these magnetic knife blocks using oak wood. It is reclaimed wood from a torn down barn that was at least 100 years old, making each knife block one of a kind.
On the inside of each knife block are strong neodymium disc magnets, such as the S-20-05-N disc magnets with 6,4 kg adhesive force. In a complex manual process, I insert the magnets into the wood so that they are no longer visible. As a result, knives stick to the wood as if by magic. I also clean, brush, grind and polish the wood for the knife blocks. A treatment with food-safe oil is the final finishing touch. A small, but not unimportant detail: the feet of my magnetic knife blocks are made of non-slip and scratch-resistant leather.
The practical use and unique, rustic style turn these magnetic knife blocks into an elegant focal point for every kitchen. If you would like to purchase one of these unique knife blocks, please visit my website www.saebelwerk.de and get in touch with me.

Quadrant-shaped magnetic knife block

Additional comment from Rainer Stuhr (Deutschland):
For my many kitchen knives, I built a sturdy and stable magnetic knife block. It consists of a total of three 30 mm thick pine (or spruce) laminated wood panels. I sawed them into quarter circles and then sanded the edges. Afterwards, I used a Forstner bit to drill 24 holes in two of the wooden panels. The holes were exactly 23 mm deep, this way, the adhesive force of the magnets can be somewhat regulated. I picked the diameter for the drill holes so the magnets would fit exactly into them.
Next, I placed 48 disc magnets S-20-15-N into the drilled holes. In terms of polarity, I made sure that the opposing magnets repel and do not attract each other. I added a little Pattex glue to the hole before carefully inserting the magnets with a hammer. As a spacer, I glued the third 30 mm thick wooden board in between the other two. For that I used Ponal wood glue.
After the final sanding, I treated the magnetic knife block with linseed oil and smoothed it with an intermediate sanding. Linseed oil is a natural product and also food-safe, making it perfect for my knofe block. You can see the end result of my work in the following pictures.

Magnetic knife block for Japanese knives

Addition from Uriel Nakach (Switzerland):
My goal was to make a knife holder specifically for my Japanese knives. I used:
  • 10 wooden blocks, 24 x 5 x 2 cm,
    American nutwood
  • 18 block magnets (adhesive force approx. 6 kg)
  • Styrofoam (available in home improvement stores)
  • Wood oil
  • Casein glue
  • 1 stainless steel panel 21,5 x 10 x 1 cm
For the woodwork I used a planing machine, circular saw, grinding machine, router, belt sander, power drill, and milling machine.
The material cost for magnets, wood, stainless steel, and oil amounted to approx. 110 Swiss Francs.
Since it was important to me that all knives can be equally easily removed from the wooden block, I had to test the strength of the magnets. At equal magnet distribution, the largest and thickest knife would have adhered to the block much stronger than the smaller ones. I tested the magnet distribution with styrofoam.
I had to be careful when handling the magnets as they could easily break during a collision. I broke four due to inattentiveness.
I determined the necessary distance of the embedded magnets to the surface with magazines of varying thicknesses. It turned out that a 5 mm distance between magnet and knife is suitable. I had to test it in an upright position and take under consideration that the knives will be exposed to less friction on an unyielding, flat wooden surface as opposed to magazines.
To build the wooden block, I bought a piece of raw mood measuring approx. 130 x 11 x 4 cm from a cabinetmaking workshop and fabricated 10 slats from it.
5 of the slats respectively I glued together with PVAC glue to make a board, which I clamped during the drying process. After a drying time of 24 hours, I removed wood glue remains and sanded down unevenness in the two boards.
Then, I placed the two wooden boards on top of each other and cut them according to the template. The exact measurements I noted on the drawing.
Thereafter, I marked the grooves for the block magnets on both boards. With a router, I milled the 1,5 cm deep and 1,2 cm wide gaps into the wooden boards. Then I was able to carefully line up and embed the block magnets before I secured the magnets with wooden picks, chipped wood, and PVAC glue.
I glued the two wooden boards and pressed them together with screw clamps so they would stay in place.
After the glue dried, I sanded the sides of the wooden block down with a sander. To eliminate rough spots from sanding and end up with a smooth surface, I worked on all sides (except the bottom) with medium (100) and then fine (200) sandpaper.
I used "Biofa Universal Hard Oil silk-mat 2044“ to oil the wooden block. After intervals of 24 hours respectively, I put three coats of it on. I rubbed the oil into the wood and wiped off excess oil with a cloth after 15 minutes. 30 ml were sufficient and the difference is quite impressive!
I fabricated the stainless steel base for the magnetic knife block myself. You need a well-equipped metal workshop for that or you can get a similar piece delivered. I used a 6-mm steel drill for the boreholes to screw the stainless steel plate to the wooden block. The distance from the holes to the edges is 7 cm.
For the holes on the bottom edge of the wooden block, I used a wood drill with a 3,2 mm diameter. I selected one that was slightly thicker than the neck of the woodscrews to make sure the hard nutwood wouldn't be damaged. Since the upper edge of the wooden block is not parallel to the bottom edge, the block was askew during drilling. In order to use the drill in a vertical direction, I placed the sawed-off piece from the upper edge under the block to even out the slope (it will become clear what that means once you drill).
Finally, I only had to attach the base to the wooden block with woodscrews and the magnetic knife block was finished!

Magnetic knife block made of Padouk wood

Addition from Mirko Motsch from Sankt Ingbert (Germany):
I'd like to introduce you to my magnetic knife block application. It consists of two halves of 5 cm thick Padouk wood (approx. 25 x 25 cm) into which I embedded 24 disc magnets 15x8 mm on each side. I distributed the magnets in a way that you can attach the knives any way you want. The column is made of rust-proof stainless steel and the pedestal is made of approx. 15 x 15 cm granite. The whole knife block can rotate 360 degrees and is approx. 40 cm high.
Note from the supermagnete team:
A home-made knife rack is a great alternative for those who want their knives to take up less space but still keep them on display.
Knife blocks and knife racks are very popular projects with our customers. For that reason, we gathered the most frequently asked questions and important information for you:
If you don't want to build them yourself, you can buy high-quality knife blocks and knife strips from our online shop: