D.I.Y. knife block

Gary, Team member
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D.I.Y. knife block

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Project Overview

This stylish knife block will help you keep your kitchen knives safe, sharp and on hand for when you need them. It’s a great way to avoid hunting through kitchen drawers for a knife and you’ll love how good it looks. We’ll show you how to make it with a few simple tools and materials. Continue to step-by-step instructions
excess glue
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Using tape to catch excess glue

Isn’t it annoying when you’re gluing two pieces of timber together and the excess glue ends up on the surface. Thankfully, there is a solution. Simply join the two pieces of wood, then run some tape along the join. Use a utility knife to cut the tape along the join. Then apply the glue to each of the edges you want to join. When you clamp the timber together, glue will ooze over the tape and not the wood. Remove the tape before the glue dries. The result? A perfect join and glue free timber.

Step by Step Instructions

1 Pre-cut your timber
2 Measure and mark the length of the legs
3 Set the circular saw
4 Cut the grooves
5 Set the circular saw to rip the top length
6 Rip the top for the knife block
7 Measure and mark for the mitre cut for the legs
8 Cut the mitre joints
9 Measure and mark for the length of the legs
10 Cut the legs to length
11 Measure and mark for the top of the knife block
12 Cut the timber for the top of the knife block
13 Sand the timber
14 Measure and mark for the knife slots
15 Cut the slots for the knives
16 Sand the timber
17 Cut the acrylic sheet
18 Assemble the top of the knife block
19 Put the acrylic sheets in place
20 Join the top of the knife block
21 Putty the gaps and holes
22 Apply the beeswax
23 Put the knife block in the kitchen
  • Step 1. Pre-cut your timber

    To make this project easier, you can have your timber pre-cut to manageable lengths at your local Bunnings.
  • Step 2. Measure and mark the length of the legs

    Measure and mark out 300mm on the timber for the two legs. Our actual length is 240mm, but we allowed a little extra for marking out the grooves for the acrylic sheet.
  • Step 3. Set the circular saw

    Set the guide on the circular saw to 10mm – it needs to be flush and flat against the timber when you’re cutting. Set the cutting depth to 5mm. An important safety tip is to make sure the saw is unplugged when adjusting it.
  • Step 4. Cut the grooves

    Clamp the timber to the workbench with another piece of timber next to it as a support. Cut the grooves on both sides of the legs for the acrylic sheet. Repeat this for the other leg.
  • Step 5. Set the circular saw to rip the top length

    Set the guide for the circular saw so it cuts the timber in half down the middle, which is called a rip cut. Set the depth on the circular saw so that it will cut through the timber. Make sure the circular saw is unplugged when changing its settings.
  • Step 6. Rip the top for the knife block

    Place a piece of scrap timber on the workbench so you don’t cut your surface. Then with the top timber clamped down in place, set the circular saw to rip the timber lengthways down the middle.
  • Step 7. Measure and mark for the mitre cut for the legs

    Measure and mark for the mitre cuts for the sides of the knife block.
  • Step 8. Cut the mitre joints

    Set the mitre saw to 45 degrees. Cut the two legs to length.
  • Step 9. Measure and mark for the length of the legs

    Measure and mark the timber at 300mm for the length of the legs. Remember to leave a 25mm gap between the base of the leg to where the acrylic will sit in the grooves.
  • Step 10. Cut the legs to length

    Set the mitre saw to 90 degrees. Cut both legs to length.
  • Step 11. Measure and mark for the top of the knife block

    You can make the top of the knife block as long as you like, depending on how many knives you want to store. Ours measured 900mm. Measure this length on the two lengths of ripped timber.
  • Step 12. Cut the timber for the top of the knife block

    Set the mitre saw to 45 degrees. Cut the two lengths of ripped timber to your markings. These need to be cut as mirror images of each other.
  • Step 13. Sand the timber

    Lightly sand all of the timber with 120 grit sandpaper. Don’t over sand or you’ll lose the sharp joins for the mitred edges.
  • Step 14. Measure and mark for the knife slots

    Flip the top pieces that you’ve cut so that the short sides are facing each other. Measure 85mm from the longest end and mark. Then measure and mark in 45mm gaps. We marked six slots for knives.
  • Step 15. Cut the slots for the knives

    Clamp the timber to the workbench. Use the circular saw to cut the slots. Make sure the saw is set at 20mm for shorter knives and 30mm for larger knives. Once you’ve made the cuts, flip the timber so the completed slots are facing up.
  • Step 16. Sand the timber

    Sand the timber with the 120 grit sandpaper to remove any splinters from inside the slots.
  • Step 17. Cut the acrylic sheet

    Measure and mark the acrylic for the side protectors. Ours measured 155mm x 320mm. Use the circular saw to cut the acrylic sheet to size.
  • Step 18. Assemble the top of the knife block

    Apply glue to the top of the knife block. Join the two pieces of timber together so that the slots are aligned and the edges are flush.
  • Step 19. Put the acrylic sheets in place

    Lay the legs on their sides and slide the acrylic sheets into place.
  • Step 20. Join the top of the knife block

    Apply glue to the mitred edges of the top of the knife block. Put the top in place then secure the timber together using the nail gun.
  • Step 21. Putty the gaps and holes

    Use putty to fill in the nail holes and any gaps in the joins. Let it dry and lightly sand the timber frame.
  • Step 22. Apply the beeswax

    Apply a beeswax to the timber frame to protect it and give it a nice, natural looking finish.
  • Step 23. Put the knife block in the kitchen

    Then you just need to fill your knife block with kitchen knives and it’s ready. Your knives will now be easy to reach when you need them but safely away from young hands.

Tools and Materials

Tools

  • Circular saw with cutting guide
  • Clamps
  • Combination square
  • Compound mitre saw
  • Earmuffs
  • Fixing gun and nails
  • Measuring tape
  • Orbital sander
  • Pencil
  • Putty knife and scraper
  • Ruler
  • Safety glasses
  • Straight edge
  • Utility knife
  • Work gloves

Materials

  • 90mm x 45mm F17 oak
  • 900mm x 600mm x 3mm acrylic sheet
  • Furniture wax
  • Polishing cloth
  • PVA wood glue
  • 120 and 240 grit sandpaper
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