Tuesday, July 8, 2008

My knife block overfloweth

Recently, I acquired a few more knives than my narrow (and infamous) knife block could hold. One of them is a 10"chef's knive, which didn't fit in any of the slots of the existing block. I shopped a bit for a bigger block, but all those that held 10" blades were very big, and/or very expensive.

With children in the kitchen, I wasn't comfortable with installing a big knife magnet. (I'm also not thrilled with the aesthetics of these. I think they make a home kitchen look a little angry and dangerous.)

Jealous of my counter space, I wasn't enthusiastic about trading a perfectly good block and folding money for something bulkier, I managed to come up with something that works really well for me:

I used high intensity magnets glued (via hot glue gun) to the top of the existing block. These magnets each have a 12 lb. pulling capacity, so the knives are securely held to the wood.

knife block to be expanded For each knife, I put two magnets: one for where the base of the blade meets the handle, and another for the tip. Since I used the actual knives as a guide, the result is a custom fit.

knife block with magnets to expand capacity These are my two most used knives, so it's convenient that they are the most accessible and easiest to put away.

knife block in situI'm really pleased with this setup. It cost $4.50 in magnets (half of the $9 package), works very well, and takes up no extra counter space. (Since it's so hard for me to throw stuff away, not having a leftover knife block to discard is a psychological plus, too.)

By the way, while browsing around for knife blocks on-line, I came across a great idea on one of the forums for substituting the "laxative" mineral oil from the supermarket for the mineral oil that is sold specifically to care for wood chopping blocks.

It's the same stuff, but more readily available, and $2/16 oz. bottle, rather than $8.95/8 oz.

(If the bottle comes with too descriptive a label, discretion might warrant decanting or a homemade label announcing "for the cutting board" - to avoid embarrassing situations with guests in the kitchen.)

cheaper mineral oil for wood cutting board

8 comments, so far. Add yours now!

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Phyllis Sommer said...

what a great idea! i'll have to try this...

Jack Steiner said...

I am going to include this in the next edition of Haveil Havalim.

Ariella's blog said...

Such a clever idea. You could market it to the manufacturers of kitchen safety items for small children. Glad to see you've returned to blogging!

Meredith said...

Aren't you smart!

We use a magnetic knife strip mounted to the wall because the # of our knives always seemed to fluctuate.

It was a good way to build up our collection without investing in the whole block/set at once.

Juggling Frogs said...

Rabbi Phyllis,

It's like a hybrid between a block and a bar magnet. It has been working really well for me, since about two weeks after Pesach.


Thank you! I'm not sure how Judaic this post is, but I'm always honored to be in HH. I appreciate it.


Thank you! It's good to be back. When are YOU going to blog again? Hmmmn?


I also bought the knives individually. The populated blocks always seem to have so many weird blades that I never use.

I've been really happy with the Forschner knives. They're sharp and nicely balanced, and they don't cost a lot.

I think I've used a fillet knife twice in my life.

Ariella's blog said...

I did give up blogging; it's just that my original blog went offline when I switched web hosts for kallahmagazine.com. Then I shifted to blogger, so my blog has been at http://kallahmagazine.blogspot.com/ since March of sthis year. But I have not been able to get jrants to update my new blog address and those who have bookmarked it have the defunct Wordpress address listed. But all posts earlier than March are zapped out of cyberspace.

Pecos Blue said...

Great idea.

Anonymous said...

Rather cool blog you've got here. Thanks for it. I like such themes and everything connected to this matter. BTW, try to add some images :).

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