Fjellborg Vikings

Viking Age Locks:

Style 2 - Bolt released with sideways by-pass of spring.

The Locks on this page would use these styles of keys:


 This is a very simple lock to make as the design is compact and there are no complex parts to it. I have seen numerous keys in museum collections of the same style so it's an easy assumption that the mechanism was often used.

 The key is used by inserting it, turning it vertical and finding the holes in the sliding bolt's plate, then pulling the key towards yourself to release the spring, then sliding the key to the right.. The sliding bolt moves with a very satisfying click.

 To the right you see an illustration of the lock's mechanism. The keys that work for this lock were found in all sizes, larger ones were assumed to be door keys.

 The backside shows the workings, and along side are components for three more locks of the same style. The spring is mounted first. I used a recycled handsaw blade as the material to cut the springs from. After annealing the metal, I cut out the springs shapes with a cold chisel. I then weakened the spring a little by filing the metal thinner right at the "finger's" bases.

 The sliding bolts are filed to have a catch that permits the springs to hold the bolt in place. The key reaches through the holes to push the spring out of the way. Simple.

Of the lock parts shown, the top bolt is rough forged, unfiled. The second shows the filing being done and the third has the key holes drilled. That third lock will use a two fingered spring.

 The staples were filed to have shoulders that controlled their stand-off depth, then peened over on the front side of the lock plate.

 To the left, are the two locks made from the parts in the photo above. These are very simple locks to build and a peasure to operate. Now I need to consider making chests for both.
A note to consider, is that the blacksmithing hammer pattern to make the sliding bolts with the buldged center, is identical to making a fire striker steel. Even the size or amont of metal in each bolt. How do I know? I had a couple of stikers that were flubs as I didn't check for the carbon content before I made the strikers andthey turne out to be useless, not trwing a spark. They lingeresd in my shop until I needed to made the lock sliding bolts. It was asimple thingt oshift the pins to the center and further flatten the center belly and low abd behold, I had a reproduction of an artifact! Do you suppose our ancient Scandinavian smiths had striker flubs?

Being that the easy waay we now check for carbon content is to lay the metal against our electric grindestones wheel and look at the patern of sparks... and that carbon content was not understood, I would like ot beleive I stumbled on a minor work (or re-work.) that created something useful form junk.

I have that third loose part pictured in the first photo, that will be made into a lock too, more to come.

The Winchester Lock:

Version 2 Lock Version 2 Lock This is another version of the lock above. The sliding bolt is made wider to cover the spring and the sides folded to slid against the locks plate, but the principle is the same. I wondered, why the spring is covered like it is? Was it designed to protect either the lock or the contents of the box from each other? YES! Some Viking age locks were designed to have the metal back plate inside. The only evidence of the lock was the wooden keyway and insert hole for the hasp staple. I would go further to suggest that this lock had no metal back plate at all and used the chest's front board to hold the lock parts with the sliding bolts staples driven directly into the wood.

What you see in the illustration is all there was! To the right is my speculation of how it worked. After the two holes for the hasp and keyway were cut in the wood, the spring is mounted, also to the wood. Then the sliding bolt, covered the spring and stapled to the wooden panel. Look at the simplicity of the lock. A minimum of parts... simple!
* This lock is found in "THE PRODUCTS OF THE BLACKSMITH IN MID-LATE ANGLO-SAXON ENGLAND - Part 2" by Patrick Ottaway

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