New Knife on the Block

One thing I’ve always wanted in an organized kitchen was an in drawer knife block.  We often have several fruit bowls on the counters, but I prefer minimal clutter.  With the drawers finished, I got in a mood to organize, including a knife block.  Target carries an option, but I didn’t need as many small knife slots.  Instead, I put my thinking cap on to create a contained block, with a compartment for loose steak knives.  I started with a left over maple section from the countertops.  Before cutting, I measured our countertop knife block spacing.  Each slot is 1/8 inch wide and 3/4 of an inch apart, so I marked it on the top.

Knife-Block-Spacing

When I decided I liked the size and spacing, I used a square to transfer the marks to the leading edge.  At 2 inches thick, the board has enough depth to house knives.  Ben set the blade of the table saw blade to 1 1/2 inches and ran the board through each line.  I followed up with 120 grit, sanding every surface smooth and rounding the front and back edges.

In-Drawer-Knife-Block-Wood-Detail

To make a contained compartment, we used 1/4 inch MDF scraps to build a frame.  Supporting the knife handles is important in keeping the blades safely stowed.

In-Drawer-Knife-Block-Finished

Attaching a strip 3 1/2 inches from the block edge holds the handles.

In-Drawer-Knife-Block-Rest

In-Drawer-Knife-Block-Detail

For easier removal, I left 3 inches between the support and the steak knife divider.

In-Drawer-Knife-Block

With the knives stored out of sight, I’m planning dividers for the rest of the drawer contents.

In-Drawer-Knife-Block-in-Drawer

For such a simple project, I’m not sure why it has taken me so long to get it done.  One less thing to clean around and look at.

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6 thoughts on “New Knife on the Block

  1. Love, love your knife block! I just purchased a Wusthof in-drawer 7-knife slot block and I’m returning it today. It’s 2-tier style configuration and cheaply made (China). I got a nasty splinter from the veneer just taking it out of packaging.

    Can you please provide answers to the following questions regarding your knife block? I want to see if I can find someone that can build one similar.Your knife block

    1. Was it necessary to build the contained compartment (drawer-within-a-drawer) for the knife block or could you have placed the knife block, knife rest and divider in the drawer without building another drawer? Are there any advantages to this method?
    2. Your drawer looks very deep/long and you seem to have so much room for other stuff. Can you provide the interior dimensions of the contained compartment? Also, is your drawer in a 24 inch depth cabinet?
    3. Do you have standard knives in the slots, i.e., chef’s, bread, carving, etc., or are the knives in the actual slots steak knives?
    4. With 1/8″ slots, do the knives stay totally upright without any play?
    5. Are the beginning and end units of the block 3/4 inch or are they wider?
    6. Is there anything you would do differently, i.e., spacing, height, etc?

    I would appreciate it immensely if you could provide feedback. I have perused countless knife blocks (commercial and DIY) and I love the simplicity and functionality of your knife block. It also looks great and not like an amateurish DIY project. Kudos to you!

    1. Hi Benilda!

      Thank you so much! We still love the knife block, so it was worth the effort. 🙂 Here are my answers to your questions:

      1. If you don’t want the steak knive compartment, then no, you wouldn’t have to build a box around it. Just mount the block and handle rest to a thin base piece to keep the handle rest spaced out right. Since I wanted the steak knives out of the block, but still contained, this was the best way to get everything in one piece.
      2. This drawer is over sized, but the inside dimensions of the block are 21.5 inches long and 10 inches wide. That includes the five inch loose steak knife compartment, so keep that in mind if you don’t need that.
      3. Yep, all of our knives minus the eight steak knives are in the block.
      4. Our old counter block was also 1/8 inch wide, so that was kind of the reasoning. Also, a standard saw blade is that width so it made it easy. There’s not much wide to side, just enough space to easily get a knife in the slot.
      5. Ours are 1 inch wide, but only because of the 10 inch width. Leaving 3/4 on each side would still work. The main thing is to get the knife handles away from the outside edges.
      6. I still love it, but the only thing I might change is the width of the steak knife compartment. Five inches is really wide and generous, so I’d make it smaller, maybe 3 inches if I did it again. As for the rest of it, I wouldn’t change a thing. 🙂

      Let me know if you have more questions, I’m always happy to help when and how I can.

      Thanks!
      Amanda

  2. Your Knife Drawer block looked very compact and convenient. Depending on the size of the blade to design them. Great for your creative way.
    I will try to design a separate drawer for my kitchen knife.

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