Cheese Knife Set - How to Make Using Lathe

6 Materials
3 Hours

I use the lathe to turn a set of handles using Bubinga wood to create a set of cheese knives. This is a pretty easy project and a great way to improve your skills on the lathe. Follow along with the how-to video and description below. You can but the cheese knife set from Rockler at this link: Rockler Four-Piece Cheese Knife Turning Kit

Step 1:  Rip two, 13.5"  pieces of Bubinga or other decorative hardwood to  1.25" x 1.25" on the table saw.
Step 2:  Square the end using the miter saw to create a flush surface for the turning block to go on the lathe
Step 3:   Cross cut the blocks on the miter saw into 6.5" pieces which will be the size of the turning block.  You'll get 4 pieces at 6.5".
Step 4:  Use a straight edge and draw lines from corner to corner to find the center of the block.  Use an awl to punch a small hole where the lines bisect in the center.
Step 5:  Put the turning block in the lathe for shaping. 
Step 6:  The finished handles will be 5" long so round the 6.5" blank down toward the front where the blade will connect. 
Step 7:  Mark the blank with a pencil to create the shape you want and carve down to size. 
Step 8:   Remove the tool rest and give the handle a good sanding while still on the lathe.
Step 9: Cut the excess piece off using the band saw.
Step 10:  Drill a 3/8th" X 1" hole in the center of the handle using the drill press....the blade will be inserted here.  Check out the video for helpful tips on this step
Step 11:  Attach the hardware to the handle using an Allen Key and some soap to help lubricate the threads..take your time to be sure the thread goes in straight.  Insert the blades into the hardware and tighten.
Step 12:   Finish the handles with 3-4 coats of  Garnet Lac fast drying shellac and rub out the finish with paste wax to create a nice smooth finish.  

Suggested materials:

  • 4 Piece Cheese-Knife Kit  (Rockler)
  • Bubinga wood for handles  (Lumber Yard)
  • Lathe  (Rockler)
See all materials

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2 of 6 comments
  • Steve
    on Aug 6, 2017

    Great weekend project. Thanks for sharing.
  • X
    on Aug 7, 2017

    Got a great set of cheese knives with marble handles for about $4.00 at a thrift shop. Like your set also !
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