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Oak Knife Block design by Chris Tsutsui

This Japanese style knife block was designed to house a collection of Shun cutlery.  The base resembles that of a Japanese wooden sandal and the geometric shapes and color contrasts well with the round ebony handles of the shun cutlery.

I was visiting my in-laws house and felt unproductive one day and so I explored their garage.  I spotted an old 12" sliding compound miter saw in the garage with a very worn 12" Freud Diablo blade in it.  I grabbed my sketch book and began planning out knife block designs and came up with this idea.  A trip to a local Lowes, I found a board of Oak I decided to use since maple wasn't available.  Using absolutely nothing but a 12" SCMS as a tool, I was able to construct this entire knife block.  I did no ripping or milling and was forced to work with raw Lowes wood stock making sure to hand sand the pieces before glue-up.  If anyone has tried to work with raw lumber from the Borg they will know that it isn't easy finding a piece that isn't warped, bowed, or cupping in some manner.

One of my biggest issues with this block was the dull 12" carbide blade kept burning the wood. In addition, the saw wasn't setup to cut square. I had to work around the machine issues and plan the knife slots carefully since each slot is as wide as the kerf of the 12" SCMS blade.  The square cutout for the hone was made with multiple side by side passes.

This picture is over a year old and I did a quick wipe down of the block with a damp rag to clean off some dust and food debris so this is what explains the color differences.

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Last modified: 03/24/10