Knife Rack

dividers (A), cutting lVWMhick hard maple into oversize blanks (23/s" x 11"), refer to Fig. la. Note: This knife rack is designed to hold knives with blades up to 2" wide and 10" long. Mine holds six knives, but customizing it is easy — all you need is one more divider than the number of knives you plan to hold in it

With the divider blanks roughed out, the next thing I did was to taper them slightly along the front edge, see Fig. 1. This reduces the weight of the rack a little, but it also makes the dividers look a little more graceful.

This rack protects your knives and keeps them cbse at hand - without using up any counter space.

itchen knives are like woodworking chisels — good don't come cheap, so you want to take good care of them. And since they get used a lot, they should be within easy reach. You also want them to stay sharp as long as possible, so wherever they end up, the blades should be protected from other kitchen utensils.

I've seen woodworking chisels hung on the wall behind a bench, just within arm's reach. And I've also seen them stored in a separate drawer where they're protected from other tools (as they are on the tool chest on page 20).

Both of these woodworking solutions inspired this rack for kitchen knives. Ifs designed so you can hang it on the wall or set it in a drawer. In either place, your knives can be kept close at hand without taking up any counter space. And they're protected from the can opener and meat tenderizer, too, see the photo below.

The reason this rack works in these out-of-the-way places is that it's designed with open slots. Rather than burying the knives in a block of wood where you have to pull them straight out this rack allows you to pull (or lift) the knife away from the rack.

DIVIDERS. To begin work on the rack, I started with the

When placed ► inside a drawer, this block will protect your knives from other utensils.

Knife Racks That Lift

Taper Jig

i

3

---7 %"

A

NOTE: Taper jig made from W-thick stock

When placed ► inside a drawer, this block will protect your knives from other utensils.

Waste

Fence

NOTE: Top of should end up Vs" wider than widest knife blade _.

Taper jig

Waste

NOTE: Top of should end up Vs" wider than widest knife blade _.

Taper jig

Waste

Waste

Fence

To taper the dividers, I used the table saw and a shop-made jig, see the drawing on page 30 and Fig. 1.

The thing to keep in mind is that you want the top of each divider to end up wide enough to hold your widest knife. (It should be at least Vs" wider.) I wanted the rack to be able to hold a 2"-wide knife, so when setting the rip fence on the table saw, I made sure the dividers tapered to 2Vs" at the top, see Fig. la.

With the tapers cut on the dividers, the next step is to cut a 1/8l,-deep rabbet in each divider, see Fig. 2. This creates a recess to hold the lip pieces that are added later.

To cut the rabbets, I used a dado blade on the table saw with an auxiliary fence to back up the cut. Gust make sure ifs long enough to extend past the blade to reduce the chance of chipout.) Because this cut doesn't go all the way through the divider, I was able to use the rip fence as a stop. This way, all the rabbets are exactly the same length PA"), see Fig. 2a.

LIP PIECES. Once the rabbets are cut, I worked on the lip (B) pieces, see drawing in margin at right They help the knives slide in place.

But the lip pieces are pretty small

to work with safely. So I did most of the work on a single, V^'-thick blank oversized in both width and length (2" x 12"), see Fig. 3. Then later, I cut the individual pieces from the blank like slicing bread from a loaf.

The first thing to do to the blank is rout a 45° chamfer along one edge of the blank with the bit set to leave a Vs" shoulder, see Figs. 3 and 3a.

Next, the blank can be ripped to final width, see Figs. 4 and 4a. The important thing here is that the inside face of the lip blank matches the width of the rabbets cut earlier in the dividers ('"A"), refer to Fig. 2a.

To complete the lip blank, I routed a second chamfer on the corner opposite the first, see Fig. 5. Here, I wanted the shoulder left by the chamfer to match the depth of the rabbet in the dividers (Vs"), see Fig. 5a.

At this point, the lip pieces can be sliced from the blank to match the thickness of the dividers (lVW), see Fig. 6. Then they can be glued in place. The lip pieces are small enough that instead of messing with clamps, I just held each piece until the glue set

Finally, to make it as easy as possible to slide the knives in place, I routed a 1/wn chamfer around the front and top edges of each divider, see Fig. 6 and margin drawing at left

SIDE VIEW

SIDE VIEW

Shoulder Chamfer

Vs" Shoulder

Blank for -lip pieces "

Chamfer bit

Chamfer bit

Chamfer bit

Vs" Shoulder

Blank for -lip pieces "

Chamfer bit

Size to match rabbet

Shoulder Chamfer

in divider,

Blank for lip pieces

Waste '

for lip pieces in divider,

Blank for lip pieces

Waste '

for lip pieces

Size to match rabbet

Shoulder Chamfer
Blank for lip pieces

Size to match of divider rabbet

SECOND: Glue lips in rabbet

FIRST: Cut lips to size

FIRST: Cut lips to size

SECOND: Glue lips in rabbet

BACK

® DIVIDER

BACK

® DIVIDER

With the dividers complete, I added a back, top, and base, see drawing below.

BACK. The back (C) is just a VV1-thick panel, see Fig. 7.1 started with this panel a little wide and long (9" x 163/4m) • This way, I could trim it after the dividers had been added.

Which brings up a slight problem. How do you glue seven dividers to a panel so they all end up parallel — with even spaces between them to hold the knife blades? My solution was to clamp the dividers together with 3/i6n spacers between them and then glue them to the back panel as a single unit, see Fig. 7.

Also, I clamped a temporary block 53/4" down from the top. Then with something to butt the assembly against, I glued the dividers flush with one edge of the back panel.

With the dividers glued to the back panel, I trimmed the assembly to final length (I6V4") and width, see Fig. 7a. (My rack ended up 89/i6M wide.)

TOP. Now, a beveled top (D) can be added. Like the lips on the dividers, it helps hold the knives in place.

To make the top, I glued two 3/4M-thick pieces together and ripped them IV4" thick. Then I cut them to length to match the width of the rack (HP/m")

Remove waste once dividers are in place

and beveled one edge, see Fig. 8.

Next, I rounded over the top front edge, see Fig. 9. And after screwing the top (D) to the back, I rounded the top edge of the back, see Fig. 10.

BASE. To cover the ends of the dividers, I added a W'-thick base (E), see Fig. 10. It stands Vs" proud of the dividers. (Mine was l3/4" wide.) Then after rounding over three edges, the base is glued and screwed to the rack.

Finally I wiped on a couple coats of an oil finish and screwed the rack to the wall, see drawing at left. 01

Tool Chest Dividers

Waste

To position dividers, damp block 53A" down from top edge

Remove waste once dividers are in place

Waste

To position dividers, damp block 53A" down from top edge

Divider

BASE

Tool Chest Dividers

#8 x 1" Fh woodscrew

BACK

Divider

BASE

#8 x 1" Fh woodscrew

BACK

bevel y

Ve" round-over bit a.

Vs" round-

Vs" round-

Ve" round-over bit

Round over top, back

BASE

CA"x

NOTE: Cut base to match width of rack

Round over three corners only

#8 x 1 Fh woodscrew round-over bit

#8 x 1 Fh woodscrew

Round over top, back

Round over three corners only round-over bit

BASE

CA"x

NOTE: Cut base to match width of rack

Comments & Questions

Talking Shop

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Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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