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Knife block finish and wood ideas

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Forum topic by Sanderguy777 posted 07-11-2015 09:28 AM 1153 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Sanderguy777

158 posts in 666 days


07-11-2015 09:28 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question pine joining finishing

I want to build a knife block. I am thinking either pine or some fairly dark plywood. I think BLO would be the best finish because we have a lot of it and I can refinish it if need be.

I need to know what to do about mold, water, rust and rot. We live in humid, hot Tonga, so the block needs to have drainage and air circulation.

I like the spartan design here and I think it is the best for what I want. I just need to know what to finish it with and what wood to use.

I had an idea for a finish, so I guess I will put it here. If I took BLO, mineral turpentine, and stain and mixed them, would it be like BLO, just darker according to the stain? Would the stain have to be oil based? I was just thinking for if I wanted the finish to be really dark but still have the properties of the oil.


8 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3941 posts in 1958 days


#1 posted 07-11-2015 12:35 PM

The stain should be oil based, and it will do as you guessed. Most oil based stains have linseed oil in them, all you are doing is adding more, along with a thinner (the turp). That said, I wouldn’t use that on a knife block…the BLO will off gas for a while and it’s not an odor I’d want in the kitchen. I made mine from Hickory and just finished the outside (not the inside of the knife slots) with a wiping varnish.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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Sanderguy777

158 posts in 666 days


#2 posted 07-11-2015 06:13 PM

So, in other words, all my idea would do is add oil to oil? Would it darken the BLO slightly? I mean like a few tablespoons of stain to a half gallon of BLO mix. That’s what I want to happen. Basically, the BLO is just to thin the stain to a point where I can use it and not have it totally “burn” the wood.

What should I use to finish the knife block? My dad thought maybe baby oil since it’s just mineral oil with a little scent. I really want to use an oil because it is easy and can be redone. And it is cheap. It will also keep the water from hurting the wood.

Is there a way to help the block not get chewed up by the knife edges running over the openings of the slots?

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Fred Hargis

3941 posts in 1958 days


#3 posted 07-11-2015 08:44 PM

The satin will darken the BLO, or cause a color shift toward whatever color the stain is, try it out and see if you like what you get. As for protecting the wood, BLO is somewhere on the bottom of the list in protection, the film is very weak though the easy repair is very nice. I’d say if you want to use the BLO, go ahead…..it’s just not something I would do (but that’s me). On our knife block I put the knifes in with the cutting edge up, this not only protects the block from cuts (my block sits at a 45ยบ angle) but it keeps the knifes from dulling sooner than they would otherwise. BTW, I didn’t mention this earlier, I choose hickory for ours because it matched the cabinets.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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Ghidrah

667 posts in 686 days


#4 posted 07-11-2015 09:26 PM

I recommend a hard wood block if possible, This knife block is about 10yrs old, the body is Oak with Maple and Mahogany inserts, the bottom is open but long enough to cover the longest knives. The block was covered inside and out, (after assembly) with 3 light coats of 100% Tung Oil.

We don’t have Tonga weather but we know humidity on the Cape. The only issue I can see for you using Tung oil is the humidity. If you use hard wood, apply no more 3 “LIGHT” coats and wipe dry within 15 mins and can run a dehumidifier in a confined room , (closed winds) to 50% humidity, (warm dry air cures it fast) you should be able to use it in a couple 3 days.

-- I meant to do that!

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Sanderguy777

158 posts in 666 days


#5 posted 07-15-2015 08:51 PM

I plan on building it like this( http://lumberjocks.com/projects/136178 ) I have changed the design a lot though. I plan on making a 90 degree angle with the base and front ( part the knives will sit in). Then I will put two sides on it and use my scroll saw to cut out a palm tree pattern. I will probably not put a top or back on it, but I am thinking about puting a night light in it so it glows at night. Basically, I am making a cubical jack-o-lantern out of wood.

I have a few questions though. First, will a straight up-and-down front hold the knives? Second, if I use poly, what kind should I get? I think I have some spar urethane in the shop, but I don’t know if that is really what’s in the jar or even how much is in it. Third, I have pine 1×6s and 3/8” plywood, what is better for the cutouts?

P.S. I might have said this already, but I can only get plywood and pine here. That’s the only thing I have except for 1×4 oak. I don’t know if I have enough of that for all the pieces, though.

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Fred Hargis

3941 posts in 1958 days


#6 posted 07-15-2015 09:28 PM

The spar varnish wouldn’t be my first choice, but it should work (caution, if this has been sitting a while test it out first on a piece of scrap to make sure it will still cure). Given the choice of woods you presented, I would go with the pine. If you still intend to use stain, it may blotch, so that’s another thing to test before committing. As for the 90 front holding the knives, I’m thinking it might work but (yep, you guessed it) try it out first on a test piece.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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Sanderguy777

158 posts in 666 days


#7 posted 07-15-2015 11:26 PM

Why isn’t spar your first choice. I’ll be sure to test the stain and the angles, too.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3941 posts in 1958 days


#8 posted 07-16-2015 04:37 PM

Spar varnish is a “long oil” formula, which means the mixture that’s cooked to make the varnish has more oil in it than a regular varnish. This, in turn, makes it a softer, more flexible varnish designed to better accommodate wood movement in the outdoors. I don’t like these properties on an interior piece..I like the regular (alkyd, not polyurethane) varnishes for those uses. But that’s just my opinion, if you’re content with the spar by all means use it.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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