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OneStaple
07-17-2013, 12:24 PM
Hey all,

I'm planning on making a wooden magnetic knife bar for my kitchen and am looking for recommendations on location (yes, I know each kitchen is different). I don't currently have a magnetic bar, nor do I currently have nice knives (I'm about to order my first few...a 150mm petty and a 240mm gyuto, with more to follow). I have an island, where I end up doing the majority of the knife work. If I'm not cutting on the island, then it's between the sink and stove.

Unfortunately, due to the cabinets, I don't feel like a knife bar will work well on the walls under the cabinets/above the counter tops. It would just be awkward to grab a knife it seems. The sides of cabinets tend to be in areas where people would walk.

The two options that I see would be on the wall behind the sink or on the side of the fridge. The side of the fridge is a bit further away from the "active" area of the kitchen and is a little more out in the open where guests would be, although there isn't fear of it being bumped or anything. So that location isn't my top choice. That leaves the area behind the sink. Has anyone put a magnetic bar there? Any concerns/problems being close to the water? I don't really get splash marks on the wall that I've seen and at least for now, I'm planning on going with stainless steel knives, although I may try some non-stainless in the future.

Also, what lengths tend to work well? Since I'm making the bar, I can customize the length, up to about 30" if I put it behind the sink. I was thinking something in the 24" range to hold my current cheaper knives, the two I'm about to purchase, and room for expansion in the future. I know Benchcrafted makes some nice ones with 12" and 18" options.

Thanks!
Tyler

Mucho Bocho
07-17-2013, 12:47 PM
Tyler, Knife magnet bars are quite deceiving. At first its like, just get some magnets and put them behind a wood board, cheap and easy right. Deceiving.

First you have to find the right wood. It has to be thick enough to hold the knifes off the wall. Then the wood has to be routed so that the magnets are close enough to the knives so that they attract the steel. Then you have to get the magnets. Rare Earth Magnets (neodymium) is probably the strongest you can buy, but they aint cheap.

Then you have to find a way to mount the bar. Sure you could just screw through the wood but would not look the best. After all that, your only looking to make one and the first one you create will certainly going to look like a prototype. So for 25% to 30% more $, you can just order one from some of the makers on this forum: Marko Z and the Boardsmith guys sell them I think?

Just a thought, not trying to discourage you or anything.

greasedbullet
07-17-2013, 12:54 PM
I would not put it near the sink. It isn't just water droplets or splashing that you need to worry about but also the increased humidity and steam from hot water. Also stainless knives can still be affected by prolonged exposure to water. Finally the water would eventually mess up or ruin the magnet strip that you are making, especially if you are making it out of wood. So it sounds like the fridge is the best place from the description you gave us. But I'm sure if you post pictures someone will come up with another idea.

As far as length goes plan for the size you want your collection to be. If you just want a gyuto, a petty, a bread knife, and a slicer then 12 inches would probably work. But knowing how this addiction goes you will probably want 30" and another room for storing the rest of them. :wink:

Vic Cardenas
07-17-2013, 12:55 PM
They're only $20 for a good one at kitchen supply stores. I would find it a hassle to make a custom one because you need to get the magnet strength just perfect. You don't want to build one that is too strong (Like the ones at Williams Sonoma. Don't ask!).... Yet, you need it strong enough to grip the knives. You'll probably end up spending more than $20 on materials to get it right.

The kitchen sink is a pretty bad idea. Even if you have all Yo handle stainless knives, they'll still get lots of water seeping into any minuscule cracks around the handle and eventually ruin it. Forget about owning wa handle knives or carbon knives in that situation.

tripleq
07-17-2013, 01:42 PM
I agree with the above. You don't need a custom bar nor do you really need to make one yourself. There are tons of available options. I bought a really strong one once and didn't like the scratches it put in the knife. I coated the metal strips with a spray on rubberized coating and it has lasted for over 10 years. Holds 6 knives securely without damaging them. Looks great. 22$.

For your sink location it depends on a few factors. What kind of knives and handles you have and just how much exposure to moisture they are going to get, etc. It sounds like it is going to have to be trial and error. No one can say for sure till you try but that being said it doesn't sound like an ideal location.

To speak from my own experience regarding location what is paramount to me is that the knives remain adjacent to my primary cutting location. Nothing bugs me more in a kitchen than having to run around for a tool when I need it. If I'm cutting something and need to change knives nothing beats having it next to me. I would suggest that your overall design allows you to keep you most commonly used knives at your cutting station.

OneStaple
07-17-2013, 03:45 PM
Tyler, Knife magnet bars are quite deceiving. At first its like, just get some magnets and put them behind a wood board, cheap and easy right. Deceiving.

First you have to find the right wood. It has to be thick enough to hold the knifes off the wall. Then the wood has to be routed so that the magnets are close enough to the knives so that they attract the steel. Then you have to get the magnets. Rare Earth Magnets (neodymium) is probably the strongest you can buy, but they aint cheap.

Then you have to find a way to mount the bar. Sure you could just screw through the wood but would not look the best. After all that, your only looking to make one and the first one you create will certainly going to look like a prototype. So for 25% to 30% more $, you can just order one from some of the makers on this forum: Marko Z and the Boardsmith guys sell them I think?

Just a thought, not trying to discourage you or anything.

I appreciate all the concerns/warnings regarding making my own magnetic bar, but woodworking is my main hobby, so I am confident that I have the knowledge, supplies, and equipment necessary to make a magnetic bar. I can even use some water-resistant woods if necessary (teak or others). Yes, I could easily buy a beautiful one, but part of the fun would be ending up with something that I built to my specs. I also recognize that it's a fine art to getting the magnets at the right location in the wood so they pull strongly enough on the knives but not too strongly.

I am planning on getting wa-handled knives. It sounds like above the sink wouldn't be a good idea for a number of reasons, including the wa handle. The sink is relatively close to where I do all my work in the kitchen (including close to the island), so that area seemed like a good option, minus the moisture concern. It'd be nice to hang them on one end of the island, but those are also high traffic areas, so that wouldn't work out well. In terms of keeping them close to or on the island, the only other option is keeping them in a drawer.

I'll try to post a couple pictures tonight to see if people have other thoughts.

Thanks!
Tyler

SpikeC
07-17-2013, 04:13 PM
How about a fence like structure mounted on the island that the bar could be attached to?

tripleq
07-17-2013, 04:26 PM
How about a fence like structure mounted on the island that the bar could be attached to?

Good idea. Come to think of it I've seen pictures of knife storage setups where slots were made through islands and the exposed blade was covered with some type of enclosure. With woodworking as a hobby I'm sure the OP would be able to construct something appropriate.

Vic Cardenas
07-17-2013, 06:42 PM
Since you're a woodworker, maybe building a knife block would be a better option?

http://www.aricmei.com/images/thumbs/blade-through_knife_block_1.jpg

ecchef
07-17-2013, 08:23 PM
Since you're a woodworker, maybe building a knife block would be a better option?

http://www.aricmei.com/images/thumbs/blade-through_knife_block_1.jpg

And mount it to the side of the island.

swarfrat
07-18-2013, 01:30 AM
http://img.foodnetwork.com/FOOD/2009/10/01/FNM_110109-ITK-Alton-Brown-060_s4x3_lg.jpg

toddnmd
07-18-2013, 11:34 AM
Since you're a woodworker, maybe building a knife block would be a better option?

http://www.aricmei.com/images/thumbs/blade-through_knife_block_1.jpg

Oh, that is pretty cool (except it's a matching set of knives. . . ). Knives protected, but also visible. I wonder about having taller/shorter sections for knives of different lengths, or just building a tall one and a short one. It looks like there are two long slots, rather than individual slot for each knife. Which would make it more flexible as you buy and sell knives!

OneStaple
07-18-2013, 10:29 PM
Hmm, something attached to the end of the island might work. I'll have to think that one through. Unfortunately, the island has a corian surface, not wood, so I can't integrate the knife block into the island itself.

As promised, here's a picture (excuse the mess):

http://acs.bz/pics/kitchen/kitchen01.jpg

Going from left to right...
Dining room door on the far left, so the ends of the cabinets there would be a high traffic area.
Under the cabinets isn't really big enough for a 240mm gyuto.
Kitchen sink, which we discussed, followed by more counter top and then the stove. No where great to put a magnetic bar in there.
On the right side, the other place I mentioned is the side of the fridge for a magnetic bar. It would mean keeping that small counter top area much more clear.
Then, of course, the island in the middle, which is the natural place to do all prep work.

So, does the picture spur on any creative ideas for locations? I think that unless I can come up with a slick way to attach the knives to the island (probably on the left side in the picture), I'll look into a knife block or similar. I don't think the knife block that I have now for my low quality knives is very good.

Thanks,
Tyler

GlassEye
07-19-2013, 12:25 AM
I would do the side of the refrigerator or a drawer block if you have the space.

Johnny.B.Good
07-19-2013, 12:30 AM
How would you mount a knife bar to the side of the refrigerator?

Mucho Bocho
07-19-2013, 10:28 AM
Tyler why don't you mount them to the wall behind the sodastream next tot cutting board on a wall magnet and get rid of the block? Just clean off the counters

OneStaple
07-19-2013, 10:56 AM
How would you mount a knife bar to the side of the refrigerator?

Probably with some much stronger rare earth magnets on the fridge side of the magnetic bar. Of course, I'd have to take care to make sure the entire bar didn't slide down the fridge when it's loaded with knives and I'd have to make sure that it wasn't on there so hard that I could never take it off again. It would certainly take some experimenting to get right.


Tyler why don't you mount them to the wall behind the sodastream next tot cutting board on a wall magnet and get rid of the block? Just clean off the counters

That would be a great place to put them, but I don't think the knives would fit well there. I have held up my 6" chef's knife in that area to see how it'd fit against the wall, and I think that's about the max length that I'd want for a knife on a magnetic bar in that area. I don't think a 240mm gyuto or similar would fit well.

Tyler

Mucho Bocho
07-19-2013, 11:02 AM
Six inches? Its got to be at least 18" from the top of the counter to the bottom of the cabinet? Just move the cutting board and various stuff on the counter. its fine of the handle comes doesn a little below the counter molding. Just make sure that you wall magnet is thicker than your trim. thats the best place for it as its close to your prep area and your sink. You could put quite a few of them there and still clear the sink by several feet. Just lay the cutting board flat on the counter and ditch the block.

OneStaple
07-19-2013, 11:13 PM
Six inches? Its got to be at least 18" from the top of the counter to the bottom of the cabinet? Just move the cutting board and various stuff on the counter. its fine of the handle comes doesn a little below the counter molding. Just make sure that you wall magnet is thicker than your trim. thats the best place for it as its close to your prep area and your sink. You could put quite a few of them there and still clear the sink by several feet. Just lay the cutting board flat on the counter and ditch the block.

Yes, the distance between the counter and upper cabinets is 18" and the knives would fit technically. The 240mm gyuto I'm planning on getting is 15.5" long total, so that doesn't leave much room to slide it in there onto the bar. That's more what I was concerned about, not that it wouldn't technically work, but that it wouldn't be comfortable.

Now, that being said, I played with my steel (which is about the same length as the gyuto) and it worked ok. Not as much space as what I'd consider ideal, but it worked. So I just might take you up on your suggestion.

The downside to that particular spot is that there is an outlet on the wall and a switch for the disposal, leaving a max length of only 16" for a magnetic bar. The section next to the stove has much more room.

Thanks,
Tyler

swarfrat
07-20-2013, 04:59 PM
Hmm, something attached to the end of the island might work. I'll have to think that one through. Unfortunately, the island has a corian surface, not wood, so I can't integrate the knife block into the island itself....

One actually could integrate the block into the solid surface. And it can be done with woodworking tools. The process would be similar to the way they fabricate and join the corners when building countertops.

But I think wood would be both preferable and a lot easier.

In addition to that open block already shown, here are few blocks (that came up on Google) that might give you a few more to ideas to consider.

http://www.onourtable.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/962BoxKnife.jpg

http://www.glumber.com/images/butcher_block_countertop_knife_block.jpg

http://zeamon.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/KnifeBlock02.png

http://www.agiftofwood.com/images/Double_oak_wal_steak_block.JPG

http://uncrate.com/p/2010/09/tilt-knife-block-xl.jpg

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0151/7693/files/skyline_008_large.jpeg?2909

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/images/products/retratt-knife-block__38203_PE130107_S4.jpg



Wandering off topic a bit from your specific need, these came up while I was searching and I thought they were cool so I'm posting them.

http://www.cmstatic1.com/4470/4470.178688.jpg

http://theluxhome.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/bookshelving-and-knife-block-combination-1-533x449.jpg

http://blog.bisleyfabrication.com/files/2013/03/cherry_walnut_butcher_block_countertop_3719.jpg

Ruso
07-20-2013, 05:27 PM
As you are saying you are handy woodworker why don't you create/buy a wooden block and attach it to the side of the island? Having knifes close to where you work is much better.
Also you could create a something like a raised wall on one side of an island and attache the magnetic stir there. But I think first idea would look nicer.

statusquo
07-20-2013, 07:33 PM
You could mount magnetic bar vertically and have knifes hang horizontally. This is how I have done it.

Mucho Bocho
07-22-2013, 03:05 PM
I'm going to say that you'd be doing yourself a big disservice by hiding your knives in a block. Just saying, your going to lose out on one of the best things about fancy knives. Being able to stare at them. its partly gratutious and parlty practical. Here is an old shot of my knife on my magnets. I have to put them over and outlet too, although I don't have the counter molding to content with.

17216

brianh
07-22-2013, 08:09 PM
Mucho, no issues with dinging blades with that type of strip? I have one like that but was thinking of going solid wood magnetic strip in fear of damaging the blades.

Mucho Bocho
07-23-2013, 11:35 AM
Brian, Nope not at all, they blades don't have any wear marks from the steel either and I'm pretty anal about placement so am always sliding them up and down on the magnet to get the handles even. No wear marks and I've had them at least five years. I woudl say that I'd prefer wood but i can't justify another $200 for new wall blocks

brianh
07-23-2013, 12:01 PM
That is reassuring. My meager collection is FAR smaller than yours but at least I can hold off on a Mag Block a bit longer.