By Stephen Francis Wyley
After making numerous replicas of the 'Lund Viking' stool I was enthused enough to look at making other forms of Viking furniture. Amongst the many tomes of Peter Beatson’s Library I had previously come across an article on the "Hørning Grave, a chamber grave from ca. 1000 with a woman buried in a body of a carriage".
According to Voss a table that was found amoust the grave goods might be a Trapiza or a mundlaug;
"...a smaller table, among others, used to put drinks on but probably not for sitting at. It is also the name for a table used for washing ones self and where, consequently, there must have been a basin of water, a mundlaug".
Another simpler table was covered in the same article from the 10th century grave 4 at Sala Hytta in Västmanland, Sweden. The Sala Hytta table is 45 cm long, 20 cm wide and I have assumed the thickness to be similar to that of the Hørning table at 2 cm. The table stands on four 20.5 cm long legs which are 2.4 cm in diameter, the holes for the legs in the table top are only 1.5 cm in diameter.
For more detailed measurements see Figure 2 & 3. The construction techniques are very similar to the Lund stool except for the increase in the number of legs and the slight indentation of the upper surface. This indentation could be for insuring that objects on the table did not fall off easily, or to retain a certain amount of spilt water if used as a wash table.
1 it can clearly be seen that the legs are splayed towards the short
axis, I suggest that the legs should also splay towards the long axis (which
would increase stability). In my prototype reproduction I have only splayed
the legs toward the short axis of the table, the results can be seen in
The following are basic instructions on how to make a replica of the table from Sala Hytta.
4 Legs, timber dowel, 20.5 cm * 2.4 cm,
Wood glue, Aquadhere is recommended,
For a more authentic table I suggest you avoid any power tools and use wood working tools of the period, see Arwidsson and Berg 1983.
Pencil and ruler,
Hole cutter or spoon drill,
Chisel and mallet,
Rasp or knife (draw knife or spoke shave),
and a range of sandpapers.
2. Mark out timber as per plan using a pencil. Make sure to avoid cutting through knots.
3. Cut timber to shape using a handsaw.
4. Cut leg holes 15 mm wide in the appropriate places on the table top. Angle holes at 10° from the horizontal plane of the table top towards the closest corner of the table. See Figure 3.
5. Chisel out sunken area to an even depth of 0.5 cm.
6. Cut four lengths of 2.4 cm dowel in 20.5 cm lengths. Cut ends at a 10° angle to match the table top and the ground.
7. Rebate the tops of the legs to fit into the holes in the table top. The legs must be a snug fit or they will make the table unstable. Remove excess leg if poking up through the hole.
8. When legs are a snug fit smear wood glue around top of leg and slide into place.
9. Clean off the excess glue and allow to dry.
10. Sand and clean up table.
11. Place name and group on underside of table top. This measure helps
distinguishing your table from anyone elses.
Thanks to the following people for all their help; Peter Beatson, Esther
Heller, Tanya Guptill and Wayne Robinson.
Almgren, B., et al, The Viking, New York, 1991.
Arwidsson, G. & Berg, G. The Mästermyr Find, A Viking Age Tool Chest from Gotland, Stockholm, 1983.
Birkebaek, F., Denmarkshitorien - Vikingetiden Vol. 2 - ‘Og gjorde Danerna Kristne’, Forlaget Sesam, Copenhagen, 1983.
Graham-Campbell, J., The Viking World, London, 1980.
Graham-Campbell, J. & Kidd, D., The Vikings, London, 1980.
Iversen, M., Mammen, Grav, kunst og samfund i vikingetid, Jysk Arkæologisk Selskabs Skrifter XXVII, 1991.
Roesdahl, E. & Wilson, D.M., Eds., From Viking to Crusader, The Scandinavians and Europe 800 -1200, Sweden, 1992.
Wilson, D., Ed., The Northern World, London, 1980.
A Collation of Viking Names
A Replica Viking Chest, based on the Mästermyr Find
How to make a replica of a Viking Toy Horse
The Gjermundbu Mail Shirt (The only extant Viking Mail Shirt)
The ‘Lund’ Viking Stool. A Method of Replication
|Copyright © Stephen Francis Wyley 1998 - 2001