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If you are like me and enjoy building stuff out of wood, you probably have scraps and cut-offs all over your shop. This simple, quick project uses primarily the band saw and sanding tools, but the result is a beautiful knife for butter or softer spreads. You can make one of these in less than an hour, and with a fairly small scrap of hardwood.

My original inspiration for this project (especially the chef knife style) was a pin I saw over a year ago. I tracked it down to an amazing woodworker from Poland, “I love nature”. You can see the knives or visit his website. I am also very impressed with Linwood Handcrafted’s knives and cutting boards.

Grab the free templates and lets get started.

Step 1: Material Selection and Milling

Picture of Material Selection and Milling

When you are selecting the stock for this project, keep in mind the knives will be fairly thin. So choose stock with a nice straight grain. All three knives can be made from 3/4 stock.

  • For the larger chef knife shape, you’ll need a piece 8 1/4" x 1 3/4".
  • For the either of the smaller knives, you’ll need pieces sized 7 1⁄4" x 1".

Mill flat, parallel sides on the stock in preparation of attaching the template. I am using cherry, maple, and black walnut for the knives in this article.

Sethsg1 month ago
Can I please use your chefs knife template in my instructible for a pie knife? It is much different than how you made yours and is made using three different types of wood. Thanks.

How purty. The grain on those really makes them stand out, like a hangliding cow in a jukebox.

Kevanf11 year ago

Have you tried oiling with olive oil? I seem to recall reading somewhere that somebody used olive oil for some wooden spoons they have made. Just a thought as a possibly less expensive alternative to beeswax and mineral oil :) Great Instructable by the way. I'd like to say I'll try it but with with my deteriorating health it is sadly unlikely as I don't own a band saw. I'd have to use hand tools (easily done normally) but they are now getting harder to use..

dnhandcrafted (author)  Kevanf11 year ago

Thank you! I've heard the same thing about Olive Oil, but I'm not sure how they keep the oil from going rancid in the wood (Which is why I haven't personally tried it) – but you are right, it would be much less expensive than the blend. I'm so sorry your health is getting worse :( I agree, it would take quite a bit of effort to do by hand especially if that is harder to use for you.

Wood butter can be made with a mixture of beeswax and coconut oil. Coconut oil takes nearly forever to go rancid - by the time it does, you have most likely cleaned and reapplied many times over. Extra Virgin Olive Oil can also be used in wood butter but goes rancid after 6 mo - 1 year. One warning about coconut oil though - some people have allergies to coconut. Other oils are not suggested since they go rancid too quickly or add flavor to the wood that you may not want.

dnhandcrafted (author)  jlhgabel1 year ago
That’s great to know about coconut oil. Hadn’t considered using it before. Thanks!

For a simpler, one or two day project for my middle-school shop kids, great idea! We'll sometimes add a layer of contrasting wood for the handle end, and I use Watco Butcher Block Oil on them for food safety. Lots of energetic conversations online about wood toxicity, and informative charts, but as long as the final item has a food-safe finish and is kept clean, there you go, for most species. They're certainly beautiful and a great simple useful gift!

dnhandcrafted (author)  soundcloset1 year ago
I can see this being a great project for school kids! Glad to hear more about your process too. Thanks!
meysam0261 year ago

if i was creative i could make some of this crafts for school.

nancyjohns1 year ago

What do you recommend for those of us without belt sanders?

dnhandcrafted (author)  nancyjohns1 year ago
If I didn’t have the belt sanders, I’d probably use a rasp and files to get the shape, and then use hand sanding to finish the surface. I don’t have any fancy rasps or files either, just basic tools.

I was wondering about two things, first what grade was the sandpaper on your belt/disk sander, also when you mention your mixture of beeswax and mineral oil. Was the mixture four parts wax and one part oil?

dnhandcrafted (author)  FibberMagee1 year ago

Great questions, thank you! I've updated the Instructable to address both of your questions, but I'll summarize here as well. I keep a 120-grit belt and either a 60 or 80-grit disc on my sander – I've changed it since making this project, and can't remember what the grit was at the time. With the mixture, it is four parts oil to one part wax, but you can experiment with less or more wax depending on how waxy you want the finish.

Leo-731 year ago

J'adore ! Je suis juste un fan !

dnhandcrafted (author)  Leo-731 year ago

Je vous remercie!

rayp15111 year ago

I've been thinking at taking a stab at making a wooden spoon, but I've just changed my mind! Thanks for making the templates too. Yours really look nice.

dnhandcrafted (author)  rayp15111 year ago
I’m glad! They are fun and fairly forgiving to work with. The shaping is probably the most fun. Good luck!
Swansong1 year ago

Beautiful work! Those would make an awesome Christmas gift :)

dnhandcrafted (author)  Swansong1 year ago

Thank you! I actually gave two of them with cutting boards as gifts last year, so I agree with you for sure!