Compulsory Viking Tool Chest

VikingA few weeks ago, I posted about “Build a Viking Tool Chest,” a start-to-finish instructional DVD (also available as a download) from woodworker and blacksmith Don Weber. He shows you not only how to build the historic chest, but how to make your own period-correct hardware.

At the time, it was on pre-order; it’s now available in our store – and when you purchase through ShopWoodworking.com, you get a bonus video and parts list from Don that show you how to build an inexpensive backyard forge with items found at your local hardware store. Fun!

And while lots of folks were excited to hear we had the video coming out, I did get a kind – but rather embarrassing note – from a reader in Europe:

“I just got the e-mail about the new DVD on ‘Build a Viking Tool Chest with Don Weber,’ and had a look at the youtube videoclip. One thing that we here in Europe always have fun with is when Americans get Sweden and Switzerland mixed up .In looking at the videoclip, Don gives a bit of background to the Mastermyr toolchest, and says that it was found outside of Denmark. Well, it was found on Gotland, an island that in outside of Sweden. Just saying…. :-)”

But he also sent me information about a handcraft school in Sweden, Bäckedals Folkhögskola, that offers a course on forging and metalcraft, where one of the mandatory projects is to make the chest and hardware. That’s very cool. (In my long-ago shop class, I’m fairly certain the only real requirement was that we try our best not bleed all over the tools.)

So… apologies on behalf of Don and the video staff for misplacing Gotland. I am 99-percent confident, however, that that is the only misinformation you’ll find on “Build a Viking Tool Chest.

— Megan Fitzpatrick

5 thoughts on “Compulsory Viking Tool Chest

  1. bsrlee

    This video appears to be missing a major aspect of the chest – the lock. The original did not have a hasp & staple but had a very interesting lock running along the front of the box – partly visible in the B&W still shot of the chest and very obvious in any of the photos or museum line drawings of the original – with two hasps that engage an internal bar lock. There were parts of several similar locks inside the chest.

    If you are going to the trouble of setting up a forge & making the correct hook and loop hinges then making the lock would be less than an hour’s extra work, although it looks like the video does not even cover the correct hinges either, just modified modern hinges.

    1. David Thiel

      Wanted to add a bit more about the lock here. I shot the video with Don and he definitely addresses the original lock versus what was actually on the box. As the video was more about the box and secondarily about the forging, he didn’t want to burden the viewer with what would have been a significantly more complicated lock (in his opinion, and as he’s the blacksmith, I needed to trust his opinion). That said, there were also pieces of hasp locks in the box, so the representation seems to be period-appropriate.

  2. visualj

    A couple of questions.

    Are the bonus video and parts list part of the download option?

    And when I was looking at the preview blog post, I went on an online discovery tour. Looking for more information, I ended up on a company page that had copies of the axes found in this tool chest. And of course now I cannot find it. Would you have any ideas?

    Thanks

    1. Megan Fitzpatrick Post author

      Yes, the download from us includes the forge video and parts list (I’ve asked our eMedia team to make all that clear on the store page; hopefully, it will be mentioned soon!)

      As far as commercial reproductions of the axes, it doesn’t ring a bell, but I checked online and found a couple of possibilities for you:
      http://www.warehamforge.ca/repro.html
      http://www.osograndeknives.com/catalog/historical-axes/gransfors-bruks-501-two-lugged-chopping-axe-4279.html#.UwUiO15kKGs

      (Also, I’d imagine a blacksmith experienced in edge tools could do it)

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