Fjellborg Vikings

Lodin's Gallery:

Making the Hedeby Chest
The original Hedeby Sea Chest The Hedeby Sea Chest These are pictures of my "Hedeby" Viking sea chest, which is in the process of being finished.

I made a printout of the original archeological drawing and scaled it up to the original size. I used those for templates to cut the wood and find the placement for the nails and parts. It was tempting to "fix" carving mistakes made by the original maker... instead I tried to copy it as faithfully as I could.

The oak has been darkened using a natural process and the wood has been finished with a blend of linseed oil and wax.

Here is a downloadable file on the theft and concealment of the Hedeby chest, Of Thieves, Counterfeiters and Homicides - Crime in Hedeby and Birka The pictures on the right are from the same.

The Hedeby Sea Chest

The nails that are on the perimeter are commercial hand wrought nails from Rockler. I wasn't happy about their look so I made a nail header tool in order to make the rest of the nails for the box.

Nail Header Tool

At this stage the front hasps and the lock plate are held in place with Phillips head screws as I need to complete work on both before permanently attaching them to the box.

The lock and part of the hasps were broken off the original before it was disposed of, so it's anyone's guess as what the parts looked like. I chose to base the design for the mechanism on the Mastermyer lock which may be clearly diagrammed in the book "The Vikings" (Sometimes called "The squiggly Vikings book".) ISBN: 0-517-445530".

I have most of the parts for the lock fabricated and will soon be assembling them onto the face plate. I intend to post the pictures and a scaled drawing of the lock soon. Of course, I will need a key that fits also!

The Hedeby Sea Chest Here you see the interior, with the carved recess in the lid and the nails "clinched over to hold the hinges in place. More pictures of the working lock and hasps are coming.

"How to make your own Hedeby Viking Sea Chest for under $5.00!!"

Paper Hedeby Sea Chest Print out the page I've provided a link to, then use spray adhesive to glue the paper to 1/8" foam core. (Bet you can do a better job making it!) I re-did the plans after this model was built. Hope it works!

The original drawings of the Hedeby Sea Chest can be seen in "Viking-Age Ships and Shipbuilding in Hedeby/Haithabu and Schleswig" by Ole Crumlin-Pedersen ISBN 87-85180-30-0 (Available through inter-library loan!)

Click here for a page to print. Paper 3D model.

I'll soon be adding a downloadable plan drawing with dimensions and construction details.

Notes to ponder:

Having made the model above was a good exercise. Here are some observations I made about the construction of the original chest...

Click here for further thoughts on the chest's construction

I'm interested in your observations or questions. Email me at Fjellborg Vikings I'll get back with you.

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