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Project by CrossGrain (Josh) posted 03-01-2011 03:05 PM 2507 views 35 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made these a few months ago as gifts. Now that they’ve all been given, I can post about them. I got the idea after seeing Benchcrafted “Mag-Bloks” and decided to try to make some myself.

I picked up some random offcuts from a local wood place for a good price—cherry, walnut, red-oak, QS white-oak, and another wood (the two in the middle of the first picture—possibly oak?). I picked out the most interesting grain pieces and cut them down to 13.5” by 1.5”. Routed a 1/2” wide groove 12” long on the back side fairly deep, leaving about 3/16” to the front face. Squared up the corners of the groove with chisels and epoxied in some rare-earth magnets. I put a slight chamfer on all of the visible edges and installed some counter-sunk washers for the brass screws.

Finished by pre-raising the grain and sanding it down, then applying 5 coats of hand-rubbed 50/50 salad bowl finish and mineral spirits.

Since there is no wood joinery in this project, it made for a good second project to further my skills with the tools I have and get some practice with finishing.

Some are being used in kitchens to hold knives, while other people wanted to hang keys and other metal doo-dads.

Thanks for looking!

—Edit—

Here is the back of one I have in progress with one of the magnets—ready to epoxy in the magnets and countersunk washers:

Counter-sunk washers are from Lee Valley
The first batch of magnets I ordered from Magcraft
I ordered the next ones from Applied Magnets

The magnets are 1/8” thick x 2” x 1/2”

-- Josh, Virginia , http://crossgrain.wordpress.com





20 comments so far

View Ken90712's profile

Ken90712

15337 posts in 1940 days


#1 posted 03-01-2011 03:19 PM

Josh, nice job on these. Would have like to see pics of the back side. I like what looks to be brass countersunk inserts as well. Nice touch and great gifts!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Mojo1's profile

Mojo1

159 posts in 1442 days


#2 posted 03-01-2011 03:21 PM

I agree, would like to see the magnets and also maybe a link to where you boght them?

View CrossGrain (Josh)'s profile

CrossGrain (Josh)

64 posts in 1770 days


#3 posted 03-01-2011 03:22 PM

Ken, I have one more in the works (another friend saw them and wanted one). I’ll try to get some pics of the back of that one for you.

-- Josh, Virginia , http://crossgrain.wordpress.com

View MasterSergeant's profile

MasterSergeant

1304 posts in 1440 days


#4 posted 03-01-2011 03:45 PM

What a terrific idea! Thank you for posting and sharing!

-- Kelly, woodworker under construction

View SgtSnafu's profile

SgtSnafu

959 posts in 2023 days


#5 posted 03-01-2011 04:17 PM

Great idea

Thanks for sharing

-- Scotty - aka... SgtSnafu - Randleman NC

View ianlee74's profile

ianlee74

151 posts in 1700 days


#6 posted 03-01-2011 04:19 PM

Simple & elegant! I love it!

-- Ian, Tennessee

View RexMcKinnon's profile

RexMcKinnon

2593 posts in 1947 days


#7 posted 03-01-2011 04:20 PM

Great idea. Would be easy to match existing cupboards.

-- If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail!

View CrossGrain (Josh)'s profile

CrossGrain (Josh)

64 posts in 1770 days


#8 posted 03-01-2011 04:28 PM

Here is the back of the one I have in progress with one of the magnets—ready to epoxy in the magnets and countersunk washers:

Counter-sunk washers are from Lee Valley
The first batch of magnets I ordered from Magcraft
I ordered the next ones from Applied Magnets

The magnets are 1/8” thick x 2” x 1/2”

-- Josh, Virginia , http://crossgrain.wordpress.com

View ghazard's profile

ghazard

380 posts in 2261 days


#9 posted 03-01-2011 06:18 PM

Great idea…I love anything with magnets!

Nice job.

Greg

-- "Hey, you dang woodchucks! Quit chuckin' my wood!"

View steopa's profile

steopa

59 posts in 1541 days


#10 posted 03-01-2011 06:44 PM

That’s awesome! I think I should change the banding around my workbench to have magnets in it. That would keep the little parts and pieces from falling on the floor without creating a lip.

-- Steopa

View Aaron Taylor's profile

Aaron Taylor

37 posts in 1901 days


#11 posted 03-01-2011 07:02 PM

I have had these in mind for a while now. I just haven’t gotten around to working on them. Thanks for the pictures and links. It will help me in my endeavors.

Sincerely,

Aaron

-- "Insanity runs in my family. It practically gallops."--Cary Grant from the movie Arsenic and Old Lace

View widdle's profile

widdle

1474 posts in 1750 days


#12 posted 03-01-2011 07:24 PM

Those look handy.. do you fill the dado solid with magnets ? And is the 3/16” the most you can leave and still have holding power ? Reason i ask is i bought some round 1/2 ” and they were’nt strong enough when i left a full 1/8’ ..

View FaTToaD's profile

FaTToaD

390 posts in 1893 days


#13 posted 03-01-2011 07:27 PM

Great idea! Those make clever gifts, I want a couple for myself.

-- David

View CrossGrain (Josh)'s profile

CrossGrain (Josh)

64 posts in 1770 days


#14 posted 03-01-2011 07:39 PM

Wow! Thanks for all of the comments everyone!

widdle—only one layer of magnets (6 total). I determined the depth by trial and error – basically kept making the groove deeper by small increments and testing it with a single magnet held in place until I got the holding power I needed for the largest kitchen knife we have (somewhere between 1/8” and 3/16” of wood between the magnet and knife). Once I got that, I set all of the others to the same depth. The magnets I used have 12lbs of pull force, but some is lost through the wood.

-- Josh, Virginia , http://crossgrain.wordpress.com

View mafe's profile

mafe

9688 posts in 1841 days


#15 posted 03-02-2011 01:30 AM

That is not only beautiful but also good for the knifes.
Really nice.
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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