Introduction: Viking Blacksmithing on the Move

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This instructable is from our journey to Iceland, visiting the new smithy at museum of Akranes.

Here we did a workshop in the making of viking locks as a sideshow to the nordic blacksmith championship and at the same time we wandered into the wildernes of Iceland to test out our portable forging gear.

Step 1: On the Move

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Near Höfuðborgarsvæðið we went hiking to find the perfect location and found a quiet place with the perfect setting for placing our portable blacksmith.

Step 2: Setting Up Workstation

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After having located our epic spot with a beautiful view, we settled in and arranged stones from the surroundings for the ground forge. We used a flat stone for anvil as our early blacksmith forefathers did.

The gear brought to the location, included the following: Small transportable bellows, Hammer, Charcoal, Raw metal, tongue and fire starting kit (Fire-striker, tinder, flint and birch bark).

Below are a selection of guides you might find interesting (In danish, but works with google translate)

Make your own bellow

Make your own tinder mushroom firestarter

Extract your own iron

Step 3: Making Fire

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In order to make fire its essential that you have dry materials. The kit is usually worn on the chest in a little bag. The bag contains a firestriker (a piece of hardened steel), flint, birch bark and tinder - a mushroom that is particularly good at catching sparks. The tinder is boiled in ash to make it even better at enlightening. The sparks appear when you strike the the hardened steel along a sharp piece of flint. the flint rips of some of the steel and makes it spark (Just like an anglegrinder) Using the right angle you can direct the sparks into the tinder who will catch the spark and begin to glow. To build the fire you use the birch bark as a katalysator. it has a high amount of tar and burns easily.

Step 4: Making a Key

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Usually you make the keys after the lock is finished. As part of our experience, the journey took us to the mountains first. Its not especially a rationel thing to go to the mountains to forge but it sure was epic.

Step 5: Enjoying the Moment

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Step 6: Back to Camp to Make the Padlock

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The cylinder padlock held together by pins comes in different shapes and variations from early roman age to late viking age. It was used to lock chests with personal stuff. It was also used to keep order on slaves during translocation. At the museum at Akrenes we made a cylinder lock for the new blacksmith workshop. Its not easy to pick as modern thieves haven't a clue how it works.

Step 7: Final Padlock and Key

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The padlock you se in this step is not the one from the previous photos, since that padlock was donated to our host, the new smithy at the museum of Akranes, Iceland.

Here one the other hand you se a replica of a similar padlock and a selection of other viking locks, all made in the traditional way.

Step 8: Man's Gotta Eat

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We had whale beef on our portable grill - the forge..

Comments

Jobar007 (author)2017-11-30

I was hoping that you'd use bog-iron from Iceland to make your lock and key. That'd be the icing on the cake.

kandkbill (author)2017-11-27

Is it possible to show drawings of the locks ? Also, where is a good source to find more data on these locks? Bill Stroman, bladesmith.

NielsM10 (author)kandkbill2017-11-27

Yes there is. If you google "viking lock findings" a lot will appear. Or else you need the books. York/coppergate haithabu/hedeby
Birka
Fyrkat

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