Make your own awesome universal knife block with bamboo skewers

DIY Universal Knife Block

Knife holders are not very expensive, but why spend money on a regular knife block when you can easily make one that’s simple yet more elegant and functional!

This clever knife block design came from the creative mind of Martin Robitsch. There are plenty of versions sold by different sellers, however, they are a little more expensive than the regular knife blocks!

Easy Universal Knife Block

So instead of purchasing a knife block, why not make your own universal knife block? Follow the tutorial by DIYer strooom. It’s a really simple build, you can even modify the design according to your taste.

You can also make your knife block bigger to make sure it will hold all your kitchen knives. Have a look at our small album of universal knife holders below and be inspired to make your own! It’s a great DIY gift idea, too. 🙂

Do you know anyone who needs a new knife block?

Click on any image to start the lightbox display. Use your Esc key to close the lightbox.8-)

You’ll need these materials:

  • 9mm thick Oak Wood
  • Bamboo Skewers
  • Wood Glue
  • Wood Oil

And these tools:

  • Measuring Tape
  • Saw
  • Belt Sander
  • Random Orbital Sander
  • Wood Clamps
  • Router (optional)


Easy Universal Knife Block

Assembling the box: The hardest part is gluing the box together. It may seem simple, but it’s a bit difficult to glue 5 pieces together while keeping right angles everywhere. So I decided to help you with some step-by-step advice:

  1. Put one side on a flat surface.
  2. Glue the bottom on top of it: Align the bottom and one corner.
  3. Glue one extra side at the opposite corner. (So I added a side to the left.)
  4. Apply clamps and some weights.
  5. Glue the remaining sides, one by one.
  6. Finish by applying a bit of glue to all inner joints with your finger.

Ideally, the side will stick out just a little on all four sides. That’s OK (better than being too small). This excess will be removed in the next step.

It is important to take your time. Take it one part at a time and let it dry enough for the parts to stick together. My glue takes about 30 minutes, but 24 hours for full hardening out. So patience is your friend here!

Easy Universal Knife Block

Trimming the sides of the box: On each side of your knife block, the side panels will stick out a little bit. This could be removed by sanding it.  But I always use a router for this.

You need a straight router bit with a ball bearing. This will trim the panels to be exactly flush with the adjacent sides.

You could also do this with a sander, but it will take more time and will not be as precise.

Easy Universal Knife Block

Sanding the box: Now use a sander to finish the box. It should end up nicely square, and all panels need to be clean and smooth.

I usually start with the belt-sander using a grain of 80, then I finish with the orbital sander using a grain of 120 or 180.

Important tip: when using the belt-sander, keep the direction of the belt more or less parallel to the grain of the wood. If you you sand it across the grain, you will get visible scratches which are harder to remove. Always keep your belt-sander moving over the piece, never let it rest in one position. If you keep it still, it may leave a groove which is again hard to remove.

Easy Universal Knife Block

Trimming the bamboo skewers: In my case, the Bamboo Skewers were 25 cm, but still they varied a bit in length. A little variation is no problem, but still I decided to adjust the ones that were sticking out too much.

Here is how I did it:

  1. Cut a piece of wood that fits in the box.
  2. Then put the skewers in, with the tip pointing down
  3. Because of the extra piece of wood, the sticks will stick out, and the longest ones will stick out the most.

Use the belt-sander to carefully trim them down so they are more even.
Note : the dust will fall in the box, so be careful when you remove the sticks, as some saw-dust will fall out.

Remove the temporary piece of wood at the bottom of the box. If it is hard to shake it out, put in a screw so you can pull it out.

Easy Universal Knife Block

Surface finishing the box: Oil the box, or use any other finishing of your liking.
I like oil, I think if the wood could talk, it would prefer the oil as well. 🙂

After applying the oil, I added 4 felt pads at the bottom, in order to not scratch any surface I later put the knife block on.

Easy Universal Knife Block

Adding bamboo skewers: Make sure they all go in nicely parallel to the length of the box. Admire your result, and if you are proud, send me a picture of it!

Happy woodworking & happy cooking!

Thanks to strooom for this great project!



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