knife block copy

Schaschlik Knife Block

Some of you might remember a few weeks back when I posted about this genius knife block design by Martin Robitsch. The Schaschlik knife block costs $110, and my knives are just not worth it. But for a simple little DIY test of skills, it seemed like a great project. So, as promised, I built one myself.

Knife Block Full 1

Well, I didn’t “build” it myself as much as direct my father and sister who are better at powertools than I am. So here’s how we did it. I bought two 3′ long laminated pine shelves from Home Depot for $4 each. Then I bought many, many bags of bamboo skewers from the 99 cent store. I measured out the wood, and my father and sister did more than help me cut them as close to even as possible on his table saw. We assembled them with wood glue and countersunk 2″ finishing nails in the corners. The I sanded and sanded and sanded, by hand, and then with an power orbital sander. Last step was 3 coats of water-based varnish with light hand sandings in between. All in all, about 5 hours worth of sporadic work over the course of a week. It would definitely take less time now that I know what I am doing. Here are some photos of the finished product, but I didn’t bother documenting the build. It’s so easy to do, I didn’t think the pictures would help much. I also posted them up on flickr.


Knife Block Full 2

Knife Block Full 3

Knife Block Skewers 1

Knife Block Skewers 2

Knife Block Skewers 3

And for today’s quiz, how many skewers do you think are in this wooden box?

59 Comments to “knife block copy”

  1. justin said something

    1024 skwers.

  2. Jason said something

    actually it is stoney and 648

  3. murphy said something

    dude, awesome work – mad props to your dad and sis! i love it cost you almost nothing to build. do the skewers come out when you pull the knives out or is there something like glue at the bottom from keeping them from sliding out?

    i guess 1,5275 skewers…

  4. chris said something

    I didn’t put the total cost because it would give away the amount of skewers in there. Good guess though. What number is that, retard?

  5. murphy said something

    me fail english?! that’s unpossible!!

    1,575

  6. Anthony said something

    Very nice job. Looks like 2013 skewers to me. Am I close?

    Let us know how much the total project cost!

  7. johnnyg said something

    you didn’t tell us how many skewers are in each 99¢ bag, so yes, you can tell us how much it cost to build. My guess is that you spent $20 in materials in NYC, but the smart shopper can prolly get that figure down to less than $8.00

  8. chris said something

    OK, I’ll let it all out of the bag.

    2x Pine shelves @ $4 ea. = $8
    23 100 count bamboo skewers @ $1 ea. = $23

    2300 bamboo skewers – 2 that I used to stir the varnish = 2298 skewers.
    However, currently the skewers are not quite dense enough, so I plan on adding 300 more ($3) this week, bringing the total number of skewers in use to 2598.

    If you’ve got tools and varnish, this is the total cost, $34. If you need tools or varnish, the cost goes up significantly. The varnish I used, I have forgotten the name, is water-based, and cost nearly $30 for the gallon.

  9. johnnyg said something

    250,000 10″ bamboo skewers for $78

    http://www.restockit.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=11812

  10. gordon said something

    okay, dumb question: are the skewers point side up, down, or it doesn’t matter?

  11. johnnyg said something

    Another thing: You don’t have to varnish it. You can wax it too. Takes less time and costs much less.

  12. chris said something

    Gordon, points up, so the skewers naturally separate when you slide the blades in. You should be able to see this in the photos. Maybe try the flickr versions because they are bigger (1024) and easier to see.

    Johnny, yeah, you could wax as well. I like the slightly glossy finish the varnish provided, but anything that protects the wood and seals out moisture will work too.

  13. Anthony said something

    Yayy! My skewer guess was the closest without going over. If this was an M&Ms-in-a-jar guessing contest, I would win the M&Ms.

    What do I win here? Maybe a super cool homemade knife block for my kitchen? ;)

  14. Justin said something

    Or maybe a skewer.

  15. chris said something

    Just completed the block. Added 200 more skewers bringing the total to 2498. It is perfect! Anthony was closest, but not that close. No prize for you!

  16. myfieldofview said something

    This is great! Murphy asked if you glued the bottom of the szewers so they don’t slide outwhen you pull a knife out, I’m wondering that also.

  17. chris said something

    I did not glue the skewers to the bottom. Sometimes they do lift out, but it’s not a problem.

  18. Rish said something

    I am getting a similar one today. Instead of Bamboo skewers, it uses a set of nylon rods to hold the knives. It is purpotedly dish-washer safe. I figure if I don’t like it, I will throw away the nylon insert and fill the box with 10″ skewers to get the Schachlistik look.

    Available in Bed Bath and Beyond
    http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?order_num=-1&SKU=13749337
    http://www.firststreetonline.com/product.jsp?id=34836&cjsku=41088

  19. jennie said something

    I love the original knife block. I think the beauty is that its a box. of skewers. i would pay $110 for a beautiful knife block. but then again, that particular one is still a box with skewers in it. good job! i hope some company makes knock off because i have no tools.

  20. Jeanette said something

    Wow … dude – this is AWESOME! I’ve been looking for one of these since I saw it on HGTV and came across your posting via a Google search – never even THOUGHT of doing it myself! Would you mind sharing the approximate dimensions? I’m on my way to Home Depot to get the supplies now! Thanks for the inspiration.

  21. Jer said something

    I just finished putting a 3rd coat of finish on a block that I built (I got the idea after seeing the block in Food and Wine). I stumbled on this page while doing a google search for “12 bamboo skewers”. There are several restaurant supply stores that sell skewers for about $.50 for a pack of 100–you have to buy quantity though.

  22. Josephine said something

    Could you possibly post a picture of the bottom of the box. I’m trying to figure out how you cut your boards and a picture of the bottom would really help. Also, what tools did you use? Could I do it with a handsaw, a drill and a hammer?

    Thanx.

  23. chris said something

    As far as the bottom of the knife block is concerned, I cannot post a photo because I now live in Dubai in the UAE, and the knife block is home with my stuff in the states. From the pictures already provided, you should be able to get a sense of the bottom. The sides go all the way to the bottom, so that would mean the bottom is completely contained inside. It is flush with the edges of the sides. The larger width sides are in front of the narrow sides, meaning, they go from edge to edge. I could draw a picture, but I’m actually pretty busy this morning. Oh yeah, you probably could not make the edges even enough with a handsaw, but you’re welcome to try. I used a bench saw and a nail gun to ensure the smoothest finish possible. Good luck with the project.

  24. Maru said something

    My husband made one for his brother-in-law for Christmas that uses steel supports and shows the bamboo through the sides. He’d be maybe shy to post it, but I’m not…
    http://wherewoodmeetssteel.com/shop.php?section=portfolio&id=16

  25. Stefanie said something

    Rish – The company you mentioned also makes a similar version in stainless steel, which is pretty sexy:

    http://www.vat19.com/dvds/kapoosh-universal-knife-block-utensil-holder.cfm

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  28. urban bohemian’s blog » Blog Archive » They forgot to put the bones in my arms... said something

    [...] Last night was pretty productive. I got home and cleaned up the kitchen, which usually means rotating dishwasher loads, but also had to finish cleaning the roasting pan and replace appliances. I am so in need of a new knife rack, and new knives! Perhaps I need to get that knife block that’s nothing more than a box filled with skewers or find someone to make one for me. I started installing Adobe CS3 on the Vista machine, much less painful than I thought it might be at least until I remembered that I should probably remove Photoshop CS2, and then I forgot to not install Acrobat again, so that caused some issues too. Fortunately while most of this was happening, I was catching up on last year’s episodes of “The Closer” since last night was the season premiere and I figured I could knock out at least 3 episodes towards it and be completely caught up by the end of the week. The computer install was handled during commercial and TiVo pause breaks and everything seemed just fine after a reboot this morning. [...]

  29. Jake said something

    I think there is 4,500…. CHeers….

  30. Gregory said something

    Here is one that I created, an definite upgrade on the design.
    I am attaching the code, if it does not show up, I will try the html format.
    Thank you.

    greg's knife block

  31. Marie said something

    Does anyone know the thickness of the skewers? Most of those I have seen for sale online are 11/64″ thick (4mm). I was hoping to find thinner ones.
    Thanks!

  32. New Knife Block! - Page 2 - Discuss Cooking Forum said something

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  33. Dustin said something

    that is really awsome

  34. Unclutterer » Archive » DIY designer knife block said something

    [...] than spend $125 on an unbelievably sexy Schaschlik knife block, Chris DiClerico went the DIY route and saved himself a benjamin in the process. After looking at the Flickr photos of his completed [...]

  35. Paper Recycling Bin · WoodWorkingKnowHow.com said something

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  37. Blank knife block - have the idea, don't have the parts - IKEA FANS said something

    [...] here for around AU$100. There are various instructables around on how to make one yourself. See here. It’s pretty simple. Make a box, fill it with bamboo skewers. The hard part is making the box. [...]

  38. Top 10 DIY Projects for an Extra Day Off [Lifehacker Top 10] | My Blog Channel said something

    [...] holder out of a counter for super-quick access. We’re also partial to Chris DiClerico’s DIY universal knife block, which requires only a few bucks of wood, dollar store bamboo skewers, and access to a table [...]

  39. Top 10 DIY Projects for an Extra Day Off [Lifehacker Top 10] « Coolbeans said something

    [...] holder out of a counter for super-quick access. We’re also partial to Chris DiClerico’s DIY universal knife block, which requires only a few bucks of wood, dollar store bamboo skewers, and access to a table [...]

  40. Top 10 DIY Projects for an Extra Day Off [Lifehacker Top 10] | Diy all the Way said something

    [...] holder out of a counter for super-quick access. We’re also partial to Chris DiClerico’s DIY universal knife block, which requires only a few bucks of wood, dollar store bamboo skewers, and access to a table [...]

  41. Top 10 DIY Projects for an Extra Day Off [Lifehacker Top 10] | Superstars Of Gaming said something

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  42. Top 10 DIY Projects for an Extra Day Off [Lifehacker Top 10] | Raise Your Marketing IQ said something

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  46. ALLEN said something

    Looks nice and all but what about all the dust, mold and bacteria growing in the bottom of that thing? Nasty

  47. Top 10 DIY Projects for an Extra Day Off [Lifehacker Top 10] | Key To Eden said something

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  48. Top 10 DIY Projects for an Extra Day Off [Lifehacker Top 10] - 5269th Edition | Technology Revealed said something

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  49. Top 10 DIY Projects for an Extra Day Off | The IT Chronicle said something

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  50. Top 10 DIY Projects for an Extra Day Off | Money Men said something

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  52. juan valdez said something

    Just a thought that might improve the design: Is it possible to have an extra panel on one or more of the sides that has a cushion or springs between it and the exterior of the piece that would hold the knives better? I’m thinking something that would keep the skewers tensioned if you have either 1 or 15 knives in the “block”. Not sure this is an issue having never used (or seen IRL) one of these.

  53. Build a DIY Schaschlik Knife Block On the Cheap [DIY] | The Everything Forums Blog said something

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  55. misosouper, a shopping blog » Blog Archive » this cuts you up said something

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  56. Margaret said something

    I made this recently but rather than build a wood block, I just used a drinking glass… a pint-sized mug took about 400 skewers and it works great! If you want to make it even more decorative, pour sand or large-grain salt into the bottom before adding skewers.

  57. Build a DIY Schaschlik Knife Block On the Cheap | Hackintosh said something

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  58. Top 10 Clever Kitchen Repurposing Tricks [Lifehacker Top 10] · TechBlogger said something

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  59. Top 10 Clever Kitchen Repurposing Tricks [Lifehacker Top 10] said something

    [...] the dollar store or elsewhere—come pretty cheap. If you’ve got a long container, or can make one yourself, you’ve got a knife block that can fit nearly any knife you’ve got, no matter which [...]

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