Norse Chest

March 2005

Norse chest

Norse chest

A small wooden chest of Norse style, inspired by the Mästermyr chest.

I acquired an old table - just a waney-edged slab of raw tree, made some time in the '60s. Since then it had been used as a plant stand, carelessly watered and was in "firewood condition". But I was never one to let good timber go to waste, so I scrounged it. On planing it up it turned into about 6 board-foot of rather nice inch-thick sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus, not the American sycamore that we call "plane").

Original Mästermyr chest

Original Mästermyr chest

Having intended to make one for a while, I decided to make a reproduction of a Norse chest, as best known from the Mästermyr or Oseberg chests.

Norse chest - open

Norse chest - open

The timber had some rather nice spalting which I highlighted by using it for the front panel.

This chest is about 18" long, which is rather shorter than most original chests. This was limited by the timber available. I may make some more of these chests, of the full length.

Norse chest - rear view

Norse chest - rear view

Construction is typical Norse; open tenons with half-rebates, secured by hardwood pegs.

Norse chest

Norse chest

The lid is hinged on a couple of iron strap hinges. I forged these hot, punching the holes rather than drilling them.

For simplicity I didn't make a lock for this chest. Norse locks were often complex, sliding key-activated locks or even separate padlocks. I may make one (probably several - I might sell them too), or just make a simple retaing hasp.

For Sale

While I was forging I made a few more sets of hinges. There'll be other chests for sale later this year - probably at re-enactor / LARP events. Look at the For Sale page for details.

Construction

Simple box with open tenon construction, held by hornbeam pegs.

Ironwork is hand hot-forged steel, held in place by clenched nails.

Simple finish - linseed oil (unboiled) and beeswax polish.

A second chest, in sweet chestnut.

The Mästermyr Chest