Devin’s Knife Block

I originally learned of this style of knife block from this site. While reading the comments on his page I stumbled across this site (there are some nice pieces in there) and that was when I decided I needed to make one of these myself.I used Sketchup to get some ideas down and then made a quick prototype to ensure that the knives would stay in place with a 45 degree angle and to ensure that the size looked right in the kitchen.

I used Maple and Walnut on this piece, finished with a couple coats of Watco Danish Oil, I’ll be applying two coats of poly or varathane in a couple days. There are over 1800 skewers in the main section of the knife block alone. The bottom section is for steak knives and as a last minute addition I decided to add the slot for a pair of scissors.

I had grossly underestimated the amount of fiddling around that walnut trim was going to cause. If I were to make another knife block I think I would simplify the design. Perhaps I would use nicer wood rather than try to design interesting elements into it. I really struggled with all the miters, cutting them accurately was easy enough but getting them to stay in place while clamping was a real challenge (and I really don’t like challenges or surprises after I apply glue to wood).


  1. Mark Williams November 9, 2009

    Wow, walnut and maple look great together. Nice work, I bet those miters gave your trouble but nice work! How did you pick walnut and maple? Do you know they go so well together or do you have the equivlent of a “color wheel” for wood?

  2. thats cool my dad built one but it was like a spin design

  3. Dean November 9, 2009

    How cool is that! Makes the knife holder I have in the kitchen look like a scrap piece of wood! I’m glad you went the extra mile and didn’t simplify. I think we’d see more quality pieces of woodworking if woodworkers would make the extra effort.

  4. Aggie83 November 9, 2009

    Very nice piece.
    How did you cut the miters? Miter gauge? Miter saw? Miter sled?

    I wonder if applying the walnut to the end of maple stock (say, cutting rabbets on each face and filling with the walnut) would simplify the process. Of course, you would have end grain, rather than face grain on the end of the ‘box’.

  5. Doug McPherson November 9, 2009

    It’s beautiful. Nice work. No regrets.

  6. Mattias in Durham, NC November 9, 2009

    Devin: That’s a nice twist on the design. Looks edgy with all those points sticking out.

    Marc: the site is so fast now! I could get used to this.

  7. Denny November 9, 2009

    Very nice knife block. The extra time to fit the walnut trim pieces really paid off. Maple and walnut combination is great!

  8. Claude Stewart November 9, 2009

    I can appreciate the miters and all the effort that they took. But you pulled it off. I think it looks great.

  9. Dan November 9, 2009

    Nice work, I like the contrasting woods and the 1800+ skewers. The great thing about that knife block is if you have a mongolian bar-b-q and need more skerwers you’ll know where to get them!!! Nice job!

  10. John Verreault November 9, 2009

    I’m glad you decided to put this one up. I mentioned it when Marc did his knife block project and I put the link to your LJ pics in my reply I know several people had to be viewing them. It really is a great piece…man if I could produce something half as nice I would be happy.



  11. Frank November 10, 2009

    As a buddy of Devin’s I watched this design and project unfold. First in Sketch-Up, then in real life. Devin did a great job thinking through all the details. He’s a very talented guy, and completely dedicated to the art of wood.

    Way to go Dev!

  12. Christian Barrette November 28, 2009

    Very nice work Devin,

    I was wondering how did you make the walnut line on the main box side? Are they inlay or something like that or did you made some kind of “sandwich” of maple and walnut?

    Anyway, it looks great.

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