Making a Viking Comb

About: The name says it all. And Sea Shanties. I like those too.

Personnel hygiene is crucial when you're a hairy raider with big plans for world domination. Plus, you kind of want to sleep at night. Either way, vikings were not trolls.

Since I'm an obvious fraud (and also because I don't have the skulls of all my enemies), I couldn't make this comb from bone. Instead, I made it out of wood.

This is the part of the show where you scroll down to the other steps, fascinated by my cleverness and obviously amazing skills.

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Step 1: Back to the Basics, People.

I started with a log. You have to get the wood somewhere, no? So I used my dad's ax to slicy and dicy it into planks. Fortunately, I had enough knot-wood free for two combs. So Sharktooth lent me a hand, cutting the plank into halves.

This is that OTHER part of the show, where you scroll down again.

Step 2: Before You Grind...

Have some inspiration. And listen to some blues.

Step 3: Now THAT Looks Good!

I pulled out the bench sander and started flattening the wood to a more even shape. Once it was the thickness I wanted, I proceeded to grind out the shape, mentally aiming for a norse-viking-comb-thing. It turned out pretty well, actually.

Step 4: Okay, I Sort of Cheated.

I've never worked with a band-saw before. My extent of power tools is from belt sanders to hand drills. I didn't even know we had a band-saw. However, we did find one, and I decided to give it a go. Hey, I mean, I've never used a band-saw, and I'm going to be making thin, tight cuts. What could go wrong?

Anywho, if you don't have a band-saw, you could use an upside-jigsaw, or, if you're gutsy enough, you could use a handsaw.

Point is, I made the cuts. The band-saw I used was fairly old, so the cuts were hectic, uneven and terrifying. Or it's because I've never used a band-saw. That might do it.

Step 5: Sand Your Life Away. Literally.

I cut a used sander belt into strips, and began manually back-sanding between the teeth. It was 80 grit, but it was taking a while, so I used my carving chisels to round the teeth a little.

After getting a nice, very rough shape out with 80 grit, I jumped up to 150 grit and smoothed it out a little.

Step 6: Admire My Epic Artwork.

Because I'm a nut, and because it would make the comb look SO much cooler, I drew out a design on paper and traced it onto the wood. From there, I wood burned it.

And it just occured to me that you could've looked at the pictures for this. It's very self-explanatory, people.

Step 7: Step Back and Admire Your Work. or Throw It Away. It Depends.

While the other comb was drying (I washed it before I wood burned it) I made another, with a Celtic cross and some swirling on it.

These combs are super easy to make, so long as you're careful, and I'm really proud of how they came out. They work very well, and look magnificent when they're not used.

Now what the heck am I going to use the second comb for?

Thank you all for readying, I hope to be back with more projects soon.

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    8 Discussions


    1 year ago

    Thanks for the instructable. I already have idea floating around in my head for my daughters.

    1 reply

    1 year ago

    Sounds like the bandsaw needs an overhaul and it needs to be set up properly..ultimately doing this for the bandsaw will make life a lot easier for any future

    1 reply
    Brokk Hrafnssonamwill

    Reply 1 year ago

    Yeah, and that it was really, really, unused. I'm planning on cleaning it up, thanks.


    1 year ago

    What a delightful instructable. I was entertained while reading it. My daughter runs a LARP Company. These combs woul be great for the marketplace. Thanks.

    1 reply

    1 year ago

    You lame-o. Making a viking comb NOT out of the skulls of your enemies.......

    I simply can't find the words. So disappointing.

    Btw, it probably isn't your poor bandsaw skills. If your bandsaw is anything like the one we got, its dirt cheap. The cheap ones don't have much blade stabilization, so it pretty much does whatever it wants to. Which in most cases is making the worst cuts possible. The expensive ones are much better.

    I've learned to only use our's for rough cuts, leaving enough material so that when it messes up (inevitably) it doesn't ruin the project. I then get rid of excess material with another tool. That doesn't really work for something like this though.

    1 reply
    Brokk HrafnssonJake_Makes

    Reply 1 year ago

    Yeah, that bandsaw is really cheap. And it's being lying around for years, so I've no idea how stable it is. Ironically, the blade just broke on me, on another project I was working on. (coming soon) (sort of)

    The cuts were also messy because I wasn't following a very good guideline, which I should've thought of. I did better on the second comb I made (the one with the Celtic Cross)

    I'm still hoping to expertiment with bone...maybe I'll find one from a hangliding cow or a troll somewhere...