Paul Slagle's profile

MonoBlock Knife System

Problems: Kitchen Knife Dullness & Improper Knife Use
While researching I learned that while cooking may be a priority, proper knife use is not always a given. 
1. The first thing I noticed is that knives should be hand washed, but some users place them into a dishwasher to be washed instead. This may lead to the knife edge hitting harder materials like glass or ceramic, dulling the edge. 
2. The next thing I noticed was inexperienced users would hold knives incorrectly, and even place their holding fingers in dangerous spots.
3. The next thing I noticed was that if users didn't have a home for their knives, they were sometimes placed inside a drawer filled with other kitchen utensils, bumping against them and dulling the knife edge even more. 
4. Some users did not bother honing their knives whatsoever, which just exacerbates the issue of dullness.
After research, I narrowed down a few areas to focus: honing, knife storage, and ease of use. I wanted to make a system that would appeal to many consumers while communicating its function without instruction. Through iterations and refinements, I decided to go with a wall-mountable "mono-block" design which incorporates a build in honing function and can hold a chef knife. 
The final concepts, which are colorized in the photo, were almost complete during this stage but needed a bit of tweaking. The biggest change I incorporated in the final design was a handle for the honing piece, and some of the material choices, such as using all wood for the face of the block instead of a ceramic face. 

• Storage for at least one or two knives
• Honing capabilities
• Ergonomic (For the Knife)
• Aesthetically pleasing
• Minimal in function
Prototyping: This stage of the project fleshed out the sizing of my pieces, as well as some functionality. 
My class was especially keen of the simplicity of the block on the right.
Model Making Process: Starting off with ash wood, I proceeded to cut to the main shape, then milled out the inside crevices. Then I routed out areas for magnets and the honing device. After that, I crafted the honing device from high-density foam. I used an existing knife and set my own scales to the tang.
Physical Model: I was fairly confident in my model making abilities at this point, so I had a lot of fun creating this prototype from some beautiful ash wood. The honing piece is made from a block of high-density foam. The wood was finished 600 grit and coated with a simple tung oil.
After creating the physical model, I decided to change a few things on the 3D model. I made two big changes to the final model, the material choices, and color choices. I implemented mahogany for the main block, shaped micarta for the knife scales and a polyamide handle with a textured surface for the honing device handle which connects to the ceramic body. 
The result is a simple cutlery piece that would look great in a modern, or even traditional styled kitchen.
MonoBlock Knife System

MonoBlock Knife System

A project for Product Studio I at Appalachian Studio. This knife and block system addresses the problem of dull knives by including a honing bloc Read More