If you shop at Spar, you will know that they have a Masterchef promotion (well - usually Masterchef) about three times a year … you know … collect some stickers and fill your little book with said stickers to qualify for a too-good-to-be-true deal on some kitchenware. The stuff is usually just about worth the "promotional" price, but the quality isn't such that you would ask for the brand by name and/or pay the "full" price for it … but I digress.
One of these promotions was for their knife range. They aren't too crap, have a decent measure of heft to them and made from above avrage steel with a decent enough edge to them. I wasn't quite convinced that the cutting edges would stay sharp once I set the knives free in the kitchen drawer; so I consulted the off-cut department and found a nice chunk of Imbuia and a few scraps of beech to make a little something to show off my pro chef grade knives.
Full disclosure: I actually made a thin strip cutting jig and needed a reason for it existing, so I came up with something to make that involves the use of thin strips. Maybe I'll make a post about the jig itself one of these days.
Either way - the block is a pretty simple affair with the top cut at an angle just right to accommodate the slant of the knife bolster. The thin strips are slightly thicker than the blade and cut to the shape of each blade for an almost snug fit.
Imbuia is pretty soft and explodes into a fine, peppery dust when sanded … taking me way back down memory lane to my matric year and the scent eminating from our woodworking class - that and the sound of Mr Wolhüter's cane swishing through the air while he's dishing out punishment at the table saw. Those were the days …
OK … back to the knife block - Imbuia used to be common back then, now less so, but it remains one of my favourite woods to work with (if I can find any) and looks spectacular as-is. For this reason I treated said knife block with some ProNature Natural Clear which is oil based, food safe and doesn't change the appearance of the wood much beyond slight darkening and making that beautiful grain pop. I keep it looking minty fresh with some of my home made secret recipe cutting board cream.
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