DIY Magnetic Knife Rack from Scrap Wood

In: Kitchen Tutorials

Make a DIY Magnetic Knife Rack from scrap wood.

DIY Magnetic Knife Rack



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So let’s do a quick run down of the kitchen updating projects that are completed so far:
The very last thing that I need to accomplish is the tile backsplash.  I’m just waiting for the best weekend to do that when I don’t have three crazy kids running around the tile saw.  Until then, I thought I’d do a quick project for when that is finished.  
Something…practical.  Something…useful.  Something…pretty.
A magnetic knife rack it is.  Right now all my knives are gingerly placed into a crock on the countertop.  Not the best place for them, especially if you want to keep all of your fingers and have them be sharp enough to cut cheese.  Therefore, the most obvious choice for a project is something to solve that little problem.
I most definitely do not want to stick an ugly black, magnetic strip on my pristine, white subway tile-(Well, when I get around to it.)  I wanted something a bit more…me.
Here is what I came up with using what I had laying around the house.  At first, I tried to drill through the wood and place the magnet just below the surface from the back.  Did not work, they weren’t strong enough.  So then, I went with plan B– Works like a dream and could probably hold up a magnetic baby elephant.
What you will need:
  • 1 piece of scrap wood the length you would like your knife rack.  (Mine is a 10″ long 1″x4″ that was left over from my floating shelves.)
  • Neo Magnets.  (My rule seemed to be 2 per knife for strength.   I used them for boutonnieres in my Etsy shop.)
  • Wood stain in the color of your choice.  (I used Minwax Provincial to match my counters.)
  • Hot glue gun
  • Drill with Countersink bit.  (I’m sure you can use any bit, this just worked really well to get the magnets close to flush with the top of the wood.)
  • Sand paper
Step one:
Sand the piece of wood to your liking.  I like to sand all the edges and corners nice and round to get that rustic/used look I love.
Sanded corner of wood block
Step two:
Measure your piece of wood and mark where you are going to be placing your magnets.  I spaced mine out an inch apart, the rows being an inch from the top and bottom.  Mine got a little wonky on the bottom row because I wasn’t being particularly precise.  I figure the knives will be covering them anyway.
tape measure and wood
Step three:
Using your countersink bit, drill your holes.  Here’s a tip:  Measure your magnets thickness and place a piece of tape on your bit marking their height.  Then when your drilling, do not drill past the tape line.  Then you have uniform holes.  Use the tape as a marker of when to stop drilling.  Once you hit the tape.  Stop.
drilling wood
Step four:
Place a drop of hot glue in the hole and add your magnets.  Repeat until all holes are filled.
hot gluing magnets into wood
See…Wonky bottom row. I sure felt like a Cotton Headed Ninny Muggins.
Step five:
Now it’s time to stain.  I always wipe on a good layer of water before staining because it gets the wood ready to accept the color better.  It opens the grain.  Water works just as well as that fancy wood conditioner and guess what… It’s free.
staining magnetic knife rack
Step six:
Apply your stain and let it sit for a couple minutes.  Then wipe off the excess.  Not dark enough?  Do it again.  Let it dry.
wiping excess stain off magnetic knife rack
If you want to add a coat of poly- go ahead, I won’t stop you, but I’m not going to.  This is just fine for me.
magnetic knife rack side view
Not bad for practically free.  If you have to buy magnets, it will be slightly more than free, but not much.

It turned out so well, I think I’ll make another using a 1 x 2 for all of my steak knives!
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