Cherry and Purpleheart Knife Block

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Project by JayG46 posted 06-07-2013 02:43 AM 2266 views 5 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

One of the things that I (and probably most woodworkers) can’t help is dissecting things they come across that are made out of wood. The other day, our J. A. Henckels knife block caught my eye. I had previously assumed that it was made out of large pieces of stock, but it turns out that it is really just a bunch of smaller pieces glued together. The wheels started turning.

Scrutinizing it, I saw that the slots that the knives go could be easily made with a series of cuts with a regular 1/8” blade on the table saw and the two pieces on the outside could be added after. The same concept held true for the steak knife area. Make it separately, cut the slots, then glue it up.

I had some cherry and purpleheart left over from a previous cutting board project and it turned out to be just enough to get the job done. Naturally, I tired to add some upgrades to the design like making it slightly larger, adding two more knife slots and taking them 1/4” into the outside pieces of purpleheart. I added some feet to the design as well, because I had two small chunks of PH that didn’t fit anywhere else

Although this is a good project for small pieces of scrap, you really need to have them in common dimensions and it would help if you were to do the 45’s individually and glue them up afterwards, unless you have a good, safe, accurate way of cutting a 4 1/2” thick piece of wood at an angle (or Dewalt sliding miter saw did the job, but not without risky techniques and some whining). Clamping was a little awkward at times too, but using Titebond III, it seems solid.

Finished with lacquer and salad bowl finish in the knife slots applied with a turkey baster.

-- Jay Gargiulo, Naples, FL "Once you understand the way broadly, you can see it in all things."- Miyamoto Musashi

5 comments so far

View aussiedave's profile


3114 posts in 1247 days

#1 posted 06-07-2013 03:01 AM

Nice looking knife block Jay. I must see if I can get hold of some purpleheart here in Australia I really like it as a feature wood.

-- Dave.......If at first you don’t succeed redefine success....

View Ken90712's profile


16864 posts in 2612 days

#2 posted 06-07-2013 09:55 AM

Nice job and fun to make as well. Enjoy!

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

View Mcnervy's profile


103 posts in 2527 days

#3 posted 06-08-2013 12:46 AM

First time a knife block caught my eye
very nice!!!

-- Bennett; If it can't be fixed with a hammer its an electical problem

View JayG46's profile


138 posts in 1282 days

#4 posted 06-08-2013 08:59 AM

Thanks for the comments, guys.

Dave, I would highly recommend getting some purpleheart if you can. It’s hard and dense but fairly workable, glues up well, etc. Makes a fantastic accent wood due to the beautiful color, obviously.

-- Jay Gargiulo, Naples, FL "Once you understand the way broadly, you can see it in all things."- Miyamoto Musashi

View majuvla's profile


8739 posts in 2291 days

#5 posted 06-09-2013 03:38 PM

Very nice piece.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

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