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Yep another long post about almost everything becouse I was to lazy to post earlier

Okey maybe not only lazy. I also have been really busy, there where a lot of events such as the viking weekends in Archeon and on the early medieval farmstead of Schothorst and the pagan/folk festival keltfest. And I got accepted to volunteer in the living history park Archeon as a viking.

First of all I bought a lot of stuff most notably my new felt hat (witch I traded for a bottle of mead) and a pattern welded sax blade.
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Here you can see the sax blade and a close up of the pattern. I am gonna make the handle and the scabbard myself.

I also bought a bronze horn final decorated with knotwork and a dragon head.
I glued the final on my horn with birch bark tar.


Now my viking clothing is almost finished.
I made a dye bath of nettles in my iron kettle and i dyed my tunic and my felt hat in it. Again I used alum as a mordant.


Here you see the kettle full of dye and my tunic after the first time in the dye bath. I wasn’t really happy about the color which was more yellow than green, so I dyed it another time this time I got a nice olive green.



As you can see it is green now. (The color look more faded than the first but this comes from the photo, Also the color on the photo is different on every monitor so it may not be accurate.)
Also you can see my felt hat here, it came out a bit lighter than the tunic but it looks fine.

With a lot of help from my mom and aunt my trousers are also finished. Actually my mom did most of the work she sewed it all together by hand and my aunt did cut it out, I only drew the layout of it. but no matter what i got my linen trousers. (photos will come later because its already on the repair table)

And I made shoes. this time i made them out of chrome tanned cow leather as a test, but next time i am gona make them from vegetable tanned goat leather (that’s where most of the found early viking age shoes are made from)



They are made after the pattern of the Drumacoon bog shoe found in Ireland.

Next on my list are socks and other things to make my viking outfit cold and bad weather proof such as a cloak a hood and an under tunic.

Also I came to the conclusion that the pouch I made a while ago was not suitable to keep all my stuff in so a started on making a new one .
this one i made out of though vegetable cow leather (witch doesn’t make the sewing of it easier) and is made with very fine stitches. if i am done with it it should have two compartments and it will be completely decorated.



So that was it all

For the people wondering what happened with my bow well it broke so i made nalbinding needles out of the wood.



Legbands wool dyeing and bowmaking

The last few weeks have been interesting i have dyed wool and I have start trying to make a longbow.

At first, I am trying to build a D shaped longbow out of alder. Alder is never listed as good bow wood certainly not for a d shape longbow. Its mostly not even mentioned at all. But well stuborn as I am i had to try. my own experiences with alder is that it is really flexible soft and easy to work with wood so it might not make a really strong bow but it should be possible. More on this later when the wood is fully dryed and i can start to turn the shaped wooden stick into a bow.
Here are some pictures.
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Also a good friend of mine who had promised to make my leg bands had finally finished. they are made in a plain twill from hand spun wool.


Also i have been back into dyeing wool with plants, and I finally found a way to make fine green. I have dyed with nettles and yellow and red onion peels.


Here you can see everything I dyed though the colors don’t show well on pictures. From left to right, The first one is wool dyed with yellow onion peels. (In reality its far more golden yellow which can be seen in the next picture.) The next two are dyed with nettles and appear really blue on the photo while in reality they are a grayish light green, the third is nettle dyed wool dyed over with red onion peels, This gave a really¬† true green. The last is dyed with red onion peels as you can see its a yellowish green. I also added some alum to the dye bath as mordant this helps to bind the dye.

Also I have dyed my legbands in the dyebath with the yellow onion peels, which turned them into this rich golden yellow.

I alo made this banner for my shop. Feel free to take a look.
banner etsy

well that was it folks.
Next time more wool dyeing and bow building also mead brewing is still on the list.
And of course the first viking event of the season next weekend.


mead, smoking pipe, and leather work

I have been busy today. I have bottled two kinds of mead. (Normal and a fruit mead.)
here are some photos of it.


The total is: eight and a half bottles of normal mead and two and a half bottles of fruit mead.

I also made a highly decorated wooden smoking pipe and two small leather pouches of thin vegetable tanned leather.


Smoking pipes are available in my etsy shop.


Axe madness and stuff

Lots of stuff coming up guys. there are axes, spears, flags, and some leather work.

I will start with the axes. Remember that old axe I was repairing for a friend a few posts back. Well I finally finished that, After the shaft had dried for a while it was nice and dry and when I started the resharpening it was actually done very quickly.
First is started making the bevel with a grinder after that i sharpened it roughly with a file.
Here you can see the resharpened axe head.


After the rough sharpening was done I finely sharpened it with a wed stone.
After the resharpening it was time to make the haft in its final shape and make it fitting for the head. Then make a wedge out of oak wood to set the head. And finally attach the head and hammer in the wedge. So that’s done, Here is the result.


And we have even more axes. I got a big axehead from someone so I decided to turn that into a dane axe. A day earlier I found a nice piece of willow woof for the shaft which I had already debarked and is now in the shed to dry
Here is the shaft and the axehead.
As you can see the shaft is rely long.(The door is about 2,20 meter)

but this axe head is a modern axe so before I can make a viking axe from it it need a lot of work. First i need to remove the paint, I did that by just burning it of. (Not advised if you want to make a sharp axe from it because it affects the hardness, But it get the paint off fast and gives the axe a nice color) After the paint was of I drew the rough shape on it which my dad will cut out for me with a plasma cutter. (Such viking age equipment.) After that’s done i will make some final fixes and the head is done, But more on that later. Here is the drwen shape of the axe head.


We also have spears or at least spear shafts. I decided to make a spear shaft out of one of the alder trees i had found. So i debarked one of the pieces and now it is waiting for them to dry.
The shaft is about two meters long which is a long spear for the viking age. and i will search for a winged spearhead to fit on it.


I also made some leg guards for a friend of mine. These are made out of 8 millimeter thick vegetable tanned leather and all belts and fittings are set with copper rivets



And finally. I have drawn some concept art for my banner, The middle blue drawing on the first photo is the concept of the whole banner, Which will be made out of linen embroidered with wool and will be around 2 meters long. The other two are detail sketches of the head and the tail end.


That was it for now

etsy shop and bookbinding

First of all: I have opened my own etsy shop, where you can buy hand made viking/medieval items!!!

Second: I have made a small book out of leather.
First I cut the book cover out of leather then folded the pages, I fold them in sets of 10.
After that, I sewed the pages in the back of the cover using flax cord. Then I sewed the buckle and the belt on the cover.
This is the result.


This book has around 160 pages.


shieldbosses and how to make them

As you have seen in the last post, I made a stump for dishing out shield bosses, Well my dad gave me some nice ball-peen hammers and a few round steel plates, so I could make a few bosses. After the first try, I came to the conclusion that my ball-peen hammers where too light for dishing out 2 mm cold steel, so my dad rounded the head of an old heavy hammer.

Here you can see the ball-peen hammers and the rounded heavy hammer my dad made me.

(If someone is gonna try this be careful your hand will be really close to the spot you will be hitting so wear a protective glove and wear ear protection.)

Okey, we start with a round metal plate, mine was 2 mm thick and 180mm in diameter. First, you draw out your internal diameter with a marker, mine was 120 mm.


If you have done that, start making small dents all over your internal circle, starting in the middle, working to the outside. Make sure you cover the whole circle. It is kind of hard to make your depression wider. It should look somewhat like this now.


Now make the depression deeper. If the edges of your boss start to bend or deform, make them straight again. This works the best on an anvil but you can do it on your dishing stump to. In the end it should look like this.

Here you can see my shieldboss attached to my plywood training shield.

Also you can see the bearded axe me and my dad made from an old axehead.

I used plywood instead of planks for my training shield, because it’s less likely to break but you can use solid planks too. As you can see, the shield is already fairly damaged but the shieldboss is almost unharmed, so 2 mm is thick enough for reenactment combat. I know from experience that 1 mm is too weak, but 2mm seems to be just fine.

Have fun making your own shields!


This post is mostly about wood working.

Because I am gonna make shield bosses soon I needed a wood stump with a depression in it.
So I took a wood stump and started chiseling a depression out of it.


After chiseling for a while I had a nice depression. Now it needed to be smoothed, so I burned it with a flamethrower. (that makes it more sandable and harder) After that I sanded it with rough sandpaper.



here you can see the burned depression and the sanded one.

Because we had another storm last weekend, I decided to take a walk looking for trees that had been broken. So I could bring them home and make stuff out of them. I found another alder tree like the last time and a branch of a birch tree broken off, so I cut them loose and took them home.
Here are some photos of the cutting of the alder tree.


After that I decided to cut out the rough shape of the axe shaft for that ruined axe I am repairing, out of a piece of birch wood. This is what it looks like right now. It should dry first before I am going to cut the final shape.


leather pouch and smoking pipe

I have not posted for a while because my school started again. So I don’t have much time for my projects. But I have made a few things worth posting.

First of all I have made a simple pouch out of thin veg tan sheep leather
this pouch is made in a really simple shape but the result was very nice. the leather was oiled with olive oil which resulted in a nice natural color. the button is made from a small piece of oak wood

The second thing i made is a wooden smoking pipe.

The bowl was made by simply drilling it out. though the stem was hollowed out by sticking a heated iron wire trough it.
after putting it together I oiled it so it would not dry out to fast and crack.

Also I got my hands on a lot of wool so a friend of mine is gonna weave leg bands for my viking costume. After she is done with it I will dye them yellow with onion peels.


blacksmith course

Last Friday, my dad and I where finally going to the blacksmith course we have planned almost a year ago. It was delayed because the master smith had a fire in his home. So last Friday we set off to the small town of Dalen.
For dutch people this is the link to the site.

We started with simple things such as smiting a point and making things round. Later we forged an opening and closing mechanism for a door and some other small things .
Here you can see most of the things I forged.

Me at work. My dad is in the background heating metal.

Me and the master smith.

The course was much fun. Now I can try to get my dad crazy enough to build me a smithy at home.


repairing an axe (part I: cleaning)

Yesterday I started cleaning the axe which was already a day work.
I started with a rough sandpaper to grind the rust away.
After a few minutes of grinding, there was some visible metal. (Look at the rust on the chopping block).
Then after a small hour of grinding, it looked like this.>
Still a lot of rust in the pits, so I decided to clean it with cola (cola contains phosphoric acid) which dissolves rust.
You can’t see much difference on the photo, but it worked a bit.

Next step: resharpening (Which will take a lot of time because the axe is as sharp as my reenactment axe).