Wood Turning

DIY kitchen knife storage

A little while back, my friend Ron Radliff asked me to come up with a kitchen knife holder. With a little help from my wife Robin, I came up with a simple, elegant maple cylinder with an inlay of some trees that I added using milliput.

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The turning portion of this project is pretty straightforward: I knocked the corners off of a chunk of maple, added a tenon, and turned until I had a smooth cylinder. I then hollowed out the inside using a Forstner bit and a carbide gouge. This piece of maple had some cracks that I knew wouldn’t turn out, so Robin drew some trees that I then carved out with a rotary tool. This was probably the most difficult (or at least time-consuming) part of the whole project.
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I used milliput, a two-part epoxy clay, to add the inlay. Milliput is a great material for complicated inlay. It molds easily, cures rock-hard, and turns like a dream. It’s a great way to add detail and complexity to products without using a scroll saw or CNC. I previously used milliput to add inlay to some lidded boxes I made — it’s great stuff to work with.
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Once the milliput cured, I turned off the excess, sanded, and finished. The last step is to invert the piece and remove the tenon.
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To turn this cylinder into a knife holder, I added rice. I’ve seen this method used at craft shows. The benefit of using rice is that it helps to keep your knives dry and rust-free if they are replaced while still a little damp from washing. It’s also cheap and easy to replace from time to time. If you don’t like the idea of using rice, you can also use something like bamboo kebab skewers.
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And that’s that! I enjoyed this project because it took a simple idea and added some more complex design elements to make an attractive and unique end product. If you enjoyed this video or have ideas for future projects, please let me know in the comments. Thanks for watching!

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