Magnetic Knife Block

by Ben N on April 8, 2014

For some time now, I’ve owned a santoku , a Japanese-style kitchen knife. It’s great, I love it. It’s become my favorite knife, but the problem is that I’ve had no good place to put it….. until now.

When I got back home the other day, doing something with this knife ended up being on my “Honey-Do List”, so I headed from the kitchen to the garage to see how I could fix the situation.

We already had a knife block. I don’t even remember when and where I got it. It must have been a wedding gift. It’s a decent set of fairly good but not over-priced knives, including a honing steel. However, there is no space for an extra knife.

Another tool I happen to have in my arsenal is MAGNETS. I have a small assortment of powerful magnets that make great creative toys when combined with nuts and ball-bearings. Some of the magnets are quarter-inch diameter rare-earth. They are very powerful in a compact size.

In my garage, I got out my drill, drill-bits, and some super glue. I laid the knife in question over the top of the knife block and marked with pencil where I would add three of the small magnets.

Next, I put the 1/4″ bit in the drill and drilled the three holes, each about a quarter-inch deep. Then, I test fit the magnets to see if they would go in the holes and be flush with the wood. Sure enough, it worked pretty well.

I pulled the magnets back out. (I just laid the knife over them and the magnetism to the knife is stronger than the friction of the wood. Pulling the knife back away takes the magnets out.)

After that, I got out the good ole tube of Super Glue and tried to get just a drop or two in each hole, then put the magnets in. Even though there was a little drip of glue, once it dried, I could sand it off.

I did make sure to not let the knife back anywhere near the magnets until the Super Glue has totally dried! Nothing more embarrassing than permanently gluing down a kitchen knife during a project….

With the Super Glue dry and a light sanding, the hacked knife block was ready to go. Just slap the santoku on top and it stays firmly in place. An intentional pull disengages it from the block. With it on top, it’s easy to get to and the other knives don’t block the way.

Now, is a magnetic knife block going to save the planet? Is it on par with becoming a full-time vegan? Is it going to stop climate change? No, none of those things. However, I think it’s the right mind-set. If we can learn to take the things we have and make them better, if we can be clever and use what we have, instead of wasting money and creating pollution with new manufactured goods, if we can think differently about design and the objects around us, then WE ARE making a difference, and we start living in a better world right away.

And if not that, at least I know where my knife is when the zombies show up!

Until next time, Keep Making Something of Yourself!


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anonym April 8, 2014 at 10:23 am

A very neat project indeed! Just a thought that because of the differing metal types between the knife and the magnet, you may want to consider a veneer or other barrier between them. Otherwise this could lead to the corrosion of your lovely blade in a redox reaction.

2 Ben N April 8, 2014 at 12:35 pm

A good idea. I ended up doing a little light sanding over the top of the wood and magnets. Maybe I’ll use some clear spray-on finish on the whole thing. Otherwise clear nail-polish works well for sealing almost anything.

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