Wooden trenchers

April 19, 2012

Wooden artifacts from the Oseberg finds. Photo © Cambridge University Press 1979

This week, we started  making wooden trenchers based on ones in the Oseberg grave finds.  I don’t have a lot of information on the extant trenches like size and the type of wood from which they are made.  We are just going off this one picture I was able to find.

In the wood shop, we had some nice 5/4 X 9 inch fir boards that were bought for a different project and never used.  We cut it down to about about 15 inches long.   We’re using a tool called a rounded scorp g0uge to carve out the trencher by hand.  We’re focused on getting the feel for the tool, initially.  In order to get it working smoothly, you don’t want to try to cut too deeply into the wood or it will get stuck.

The plan is to make several of these trenchers for our use at reenactor events.

Wooden trencher in progress shown with the spoon-like scorp gouge and walnut oil.

In the picture below, its difficult to see the progress we’ve made on dishing the trencher.   It is deeper then it appears.  Obviously, our trenchers will be shallower then then one in the reference photo since our starting piece of wood is thinner.  That spoon-like thing is the scorp.

We’re considering using walnut oil as a food safe finish, so we bought some to try out.  I also like the idea of a making a mineral oil/beeswax finish.


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One Response to Wooden trenchers

  1. Vasilisa
    April 20, 2012 at 12:06 am

    We’ve used olive oil as a finish on wood products we want to eat from; easier (for us) to find than walnut oil.

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