Bit Braces

L. & I. J. White


Working with Hands - James E. Price

  Making Authentic Replica of Trencher 1 of 2  

I have been asked by The National Park Service to teach two classes this summer on the art of making authentic replicas of trenchers, the hollowed boards off of which people ate for at least a thousand years.


I made a prototype trencher based on research of trenchers used in early America and on the frontier as settlers moved westward in the 18th Century.

The prototype I made will be used at the log cabin raising that will take place at The Davy Crockett Birthplace State Park, Limestone, Tennessee on March 24-26.

In preparation for teaching classes on trencher making, I taught four of The Heritage Shop VIP's how to make a trencher in 5-6 hours so they can assist me in teaching novices how to lay out an oval with two nails, a loop of string, and a pencil and carve the depression.

Then we explored the most expeditious way to make a depression in a poplar board. Now we are prepared to instruct woodworking beginners on how to make a trencher.

This photo shows how I laid out the oval for the carved
depression in a poplar board.

Large carving gouges were used to rapidly remove
the wood to form the depression.

This is a photo of my prototype trencher near completion.
The small depression on the upper right of the board is
the salt cellar which was once common in trenchers.

This is a detail of the salt cellar depression.
No sandpaper was used to smooth tool marks.

1 of 2  



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