How to Make a Knife Rack for Inside Your Cabinet

An easy-access organizer made from one board

Next Project

An hour or less




Less than $20


An easy-access organizer made from one board

Tools Required

  • Drill/driver
  • Table saw
  • two bar clamps

Materials Required

  • 1-1/4-in. screws
  • A 6-ft. 1x3 board
  • Finish
  • finish washers
  • Glue

This clever knife rack can be sized to suit any cabinet door and any cutlery set. And aside from waiting for glue and the finish to dry, it takes less than an hour to complete. The following pages detail the process. Here are pointers to help you along:

-Cutting the slots (Photo 1) requires you to remove the blade guard. Be careful!

-Our knife rack is finished with a couple of light coats of aerosol spray lacquer, but you can choose any finish you like.

-Wood shrinks and swells with changes in humidity. To allow for that movement, make sure the screw holes in the knife rack (Photo 6) are slightly larger than the screw diameter. When you drive the screws, make them snug but not super tight.

-If you mount this rack on a lower cabinet door and have toddlers around, you’ll also need a childproof latch. There are several options costing about $3 at home centers and online.

Project step-by-step (6)

Step 1

1. Cut the knife slots

Knife rack 1Family Handyman

Set your saw blade to cut 1 in. deep. Center the blade in the board and make a pass. Flip the board end for end and make another pass to center the slot. Raise the blade to 2 in. and repeat. Be sure to use a featherboard and push block for safety. Cut the board into six 10-in. lengths for a 16-in.-wide door.

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Step 2

2. Mark the end board

Spacer BoardFamily Handyman

Remove the door from the cabinet so you can work flat. Space one edge of the assembly 3/4 in. from the door edge and mark the rip cut on the other side with another 3/4-in. block. (This allows clearance for the door to close.) Rip the end board to width.

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Step 3

3. Glue the slot edges

Family Handyman

Apply a bead of glue to the edge on each side of the slots. Don’t use too much or the excess will squeeze out into the slots.

NOTE: Start your glue-up ASAP after cutting the slots. If you wait too long, the thin sections of the wood may begin to warp.

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Step 4

4. Clamp it up

slot to slotFamily Handyman

Flip the end board you ripped so that the last two boards are slot to slot. Clamp the boards for at least 30 minutes. Scrape away the glue squeeze-out with a chisel after it’s jelled but before it’s hardened.

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Step 5

5. Trim the edges

trim the edgesFamily Handyman

Attach a fence to the miter gauge and trim the edges square. Sand the surface flat and smooth. Open-grain woods like this oak only need to be sanded to 100-grit. Finish to suit your tastes.

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Step 6

6. Mount the knife rack

mount the knife rackFamily Handyman

Predrill 1/8-in. holes through the rack and the door frame. (Be careful not to drill through the door front!) Add 1-1/4-in. No. 18-8 screws with finish washers and rehang the door.

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