I'm not sure where I got the design idea, but I decided to make a knife block for my in-laws. I got sick of seeing their drawer of perfectly good knives. they weren't interested in a magnetic knife bar, so I figured a well designed block would be better than the drawer of doom.
It's basically just a cocobolo box, with a floor of pine end grain to protect the blade tips. It's filled with bamboo skewers cut to length. The wood is part the "family wood collection" inherited from my grandfather in-law. I made this before I really knew just how expensive a wood it was. I Just picked a nice looking board (I thought it was a very deeply colored cherry) and set to work, wondering why it was so incredibly dense and hard to glue. Only later, after doing a bit of research and a peek at the end grain through a jewelers loupe did I realize what I was working with. Felt slightly guilty about using such an exceptional piece of wood, but the in-law's love it.
The design seems to work well, keeps the blades upright and firmly supported. less edge abrasion than a block, but probably not perfect edge protection. Now if only I can convince them to get rid of their glass cutting board