Trencher Bowls

trencher bowls, dough bowls, chainsaw carving, hand carved
Hand carved trencher bowls

Last week I started experimenting with making trencher bowls (also called dough bowls). The experiment is to see what will come from drying a green carved slab of wood indoors.

The bowls starts out as a 2 x 8 x 26 inch slab of green wood cut from a bolt of wood that was cut down in the spring/summer 2016. The wood sat outdoors in the wood pile up until this week.

chainsaw carving, wood shavings, wood piles, woodworking
Wood supply.

Nothing goes to waste if possible. I got an idea for making the shaving available for nesting materials. Most nests are made by this time but you never know, some birds nest more than once a year, and sometimes a nest needs to be topped up. I made a small basket from chicken wire and a piece of copper wire to hang it next to the feeder.  The chickadees took interest right way.

birding, nesting materials,woodworking
Nothing goes to waste

With the bowl carved out its time to bring it indoors to test the drying.

dough bowls, trencher bowls,chainsaw carving, carving wooden bowls
Underside of the dough bowl.

You will notice a small bump on one side. That was just a part of the natural tree that I left on, its now one of a kind :).

trench bowls, dough bowls, hand carved,woodworking
green wooden trench bowl

Now for the experimental part. I was going to stand the bowl up on a floor vent and let the warm air passing over it assist in drying the board. Then I though of the cold air return, thinking that the cooler drier air would make a difference. I don’t really know, its all experimental.

wooden trencher bowls, hand carved dough bowls
drying wood on a cold air return
May 11 2017

Its now 5 days later and I am unscientifically weighing the bowl (me and the bowl) on the bathroom scales. It started out at about 3.1 kg (6.8 lb). Surprisingly its lost about 30% of its weight. It now weighs 2.2kg (about 5 lbs). I don’t think it will lose much more but we will see. Pictured below is some of the checking (cracks as a result of fast drying) on one end of the trencher bowl.

cracking, wood grain cracking

checks in the end grainStay tuned as we still have to finish the bowl with a staining technique to give it an old age appearance.

Mar 14 2017

I weighed the bowl again and it now weighs 1.9 kg (4.2 lbs). So the moisture content continues to drop while sitting on this cold air return.

A Newfoundland born Canadian with a life long interest in woodworking, baking and anything else that peaks my curiosity.


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