View Full Version : Viking woman's knife (Gotland).

05-11-2004, 09:44 AM
Another one inspired by Gotlandic finds! This knife is based on the best preserved knife from the Viking knives pictures CD (the CD was discussed here on another thread).

Pictures and description here:

I tried to keep as close as possible to the original dimensions and construction, with the following exceptions:
- the handle is somewhat thicker, and the tang ends at about 3/4 of its length (the original had a very thin handle with the tang going right through, I thought it was too likely to split).
- the handle is made of exotic wood (Macassar Ebony), but maybe some European hardwood could look similar if stained really dark? Bog oak, maybe?
- the silver wire wrap was somehow tied in place on the original, which I couldn't reproduce (tried the bowers knot, didn't work for me). So I fixed the ends in small holes, wedged and glued in.

I chose to finish the knife in such a way as I think similar knives would have looked in period, being actually used day in and day out. There was a lively discussion on this forum on this subject (authentic level of finish/polishing for this knife type), BTW. Anyway, I tried to split the difference between the extremes (perfect modern custom knife like finish on one hand, and barbarian roughness on the other). The handle and sheath are pretty well finished, but do show some handling marks such as I think would be accumulated in use. The blade was finished down to 400 grit, then sharpened with somewhat convex edge, almost at the same angle as the primary bevel. This resulted in some small sharpening scratches near the edge, of course. I just think it makes more sense then sharpening with a small secondary bevel (too "modern" and less effective, anyway).

So, what do you guys think?


Jake Powning
05-11-2004, 10:11 AM
Hi Alex

It's perfect, beautifull sheath and overall package. I think that it is an excellent reproduction. really nice blade finish. I think you got it down just the way the smiths of old would have done.

J.Arthur Loose
05-11-2004, 10:32 AM
That's a beauty.

Where's the sheath? ;)

Jan Dox
05-11-2004, 01:08 PM
Ik like it,

well done,


05-11-2004, 02:34 PM
An excelent job. Well done. And as far as a historical reconstruct goes. I think it is much more accurate then the examples that travled with the North Atlantic Saga, Viking exhibit. Nothing you did took anything away from the historic image of the piece.

05-12-2004, 01:38 PM
Thanks for all the compliments! I take it this knife came out well enough... I kind of expected some critical feedback at least.

BTW, this is the second knife I made as a part of a very long term project - a series of small knives (under 4") representing different "knife cultures" I am interested in.
The first one was a Japanese tanto.
This is, of course, a Viking.
Currently I am working on an Anglo-Saxon seax.
For the future, I am considering others such as:
- modern "Scandinavian" style or puukko;
- one (or two) of the mediaeval English types from the Museum of London book;
- Scottish sgian dubh;
- English/Flemish "kidney" or "bullock" dagger (these were never smaller then 6" or so, though, as far as I know...).

If you would like to help me with the choices or add to the list - go ahead, I will appreciate that!


Roger Gregory
05-12-2004, 01:56 PM
Nice work Alex. I look forward to seeing the whole series of knives.