What kind of glue do I use?

We only use Titebond III woodglue. This is a waterproof and food-safe woodglue. It is one of the few woodglues on the market that is FDA approved for indirect foodcontact.

Another major benefit of Titebond III is the long open time (8-10 min). This gives me plenty of time to carefully do the glue-up of the cuttingboards. Lastly, is results in on incredible strong gluejoint (4000PSI), the gluejoint is stronger than the wood itself. I've tested it numerous times: the woodfibers break before the gluejoint fails.

What kind of oil should I use to maintain the cutting board?

We advise using food grade mineral oil (paraffinolja: vit mineral olja av medicinsk renhetsgrad). Avoid using organic oil like vegetable, olive and nut oils. They all contain natural fats and will turn rancid over time. Here you can find a detailed description for the proper maintenance of an endgrain cutting board.

Do all Smetsson cutting boards come with rubber feet?

All of our large end grain cutting boards are shipped with rubber feet (unless a customer specifically asks us not to). 

The feet are attached with stainless steel screws.  Click here for a picture. The rubber feet serve 4 functions.

Exceptions are the models with a juice groove, because they are designed to be "flippable", i.e. usable at both sides.

These flippable models are 10mm thinner (40mm vs 50mm) and come with centered finger grips.

The main benefit of rubber feet: elevating the cutting board from the surface it rests on, making it impossible for water to be soaked up into the board. Remember that end grain cutting boards take up water more easily then long grain cutting boards. The feet also provide a 10mm air gap under the cutting board, resulting in a more even drying of both sides (this reduces the risk of warping).

The rubber feet also provide the cutting board with stability when used on slightly uneven surfaces. Moreover, they absorb shocks when chopping on the cuttingboard and they make it easier the pick up the board.

Is the thickness of an end grain cutting board important?

The thinner the board, the more likely it is to warp as a reaction to changing moisture content in the wood. Therefore the standard thickness is 50mm. Yes, this makes the boards quite heavy. But maybe you can consider giving the cutting board a designated place in your kitchen, and bring the cooking pot to the board instead of the other way around.

What kind of wood do you use for Smetsson cutting boards?

All woods with a distinct smell or taste should be avoided, since they can interfere with the taste/smell of your food. Also, woods that contain harmful products should be avoided (e.g. some exotic woods). A generally accepted rule is that wood of all trees that produce edible fruits (e.g. cherry, walnut,...) or edible running sap (e.g. birch, maple,...) are excellent choices.

Another rule of thump is that the wood should have tight grain. This means that the woodfibers are close together and the individual fibers are very small. This leaves very little room for foodparticles, to become trapped in the wood. Examples of woods with tight grain are birch and maple. In contrast, oak and ash are very coarse grained woods. You can even see the individual fibers with the naked eye.

How important is the hardness of the wood?

If the wood is too soft, it's more easily damaged by the knifes, and the cutting board will loose its beautiful look more quickly. Wood that's too hard on the other hand, will more rapidly dull the edge of your knife. The hardness of wood can be measured in the Janka hardness test.

What does Janka hardness of wood mean?

In this test one measures the force needed to press down a 11,28mm steel ball into the wood to half the balls diameter (leaving in imprint of 100mm2). The hardness of the wood varies with the direction of the wood grain. When measured perpendicular to the grain (long grain and edge grain) it's named “side-hardness”. When measured in the direction of the grain (end grain), it's called “end-hardness”. For all wood species, end-hardness is greater then side-hardness. Very little literature sources will make a distinction about side-or end-hardness. Most of the time, when not specified, Janka-hardness refers to side-hardness. And to make it even more confusing: different units of account are used in different parts of the world: kgf (kilograms-force) in Europe, lbf in the USA (pounds-force) and N (Newton) or kN (kiloNewton) in Australia.

An extensive list on Janka hardness for lots of woods can be found here: Janka .

What's the Janka hardness of the wood Smetsson uses?

The end-hardness of the woods Smetsson uses most range from 350 to 860 kgf.

scots pine (350), birch (590), black walnut (610), oak (730), cherry (740), hard maple (860)

Can exotic woods be used?

Some of them are toxic and should be avoided. Another problem can be the presence of silica (e.g. teak). This is a highly abrasive substance that will dull your knifes edges quickly.