Wood Working in the Viking Age by Othingothi Liam Meader

Updated: Mar 19

The resilient people of Scandinavia have always been craftsmen, working with wood has always been a staple trade skill of our Norse ancestors. In this article, I will go over some of the different tools and ways woodworking was done and used in day to day life of the Norsemen!

It’s important to know first that the softer woods of northern Scandinavia, along with counterpart hardwoods of neighboring countries like Denmark and Sweden, provided a much needed, and inexhaustible source of, raw material for “carpentry " and woodworking artisans. Woodworking was a common skill amongst most Scandinavian people on a basic level of being able to build homes, tools and complete simple repairs, like woodworking craftsmen today. There were however more skilled craftsmen, as with the Mästermyr artisan. There would have been like the "handyman" of today and perhaps were the intern craftsmen if need be. We know this from the historical Old Norse literature and records that the Norse were very well versed and even specialized in boat-building as well as expert home builders and carpenters.

The art forms span a variety of disciplines. In the Viking Age, wood was used for homes, for ships, for barns and other buildings, as well as for farming implements and household objects, and many other day to day things. Some woodwork was very plain, while others enormously elaborate with decorations carved and painted on them.

Tools - Types of Tools - A Look at the Mästermyr Wood Crafting Tools