Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Oseberg Viking Ship Replica

In 1903 a Norwegian farmer, Oscar Rom, dug into a mound in one of his fields and found what has come to be called the Oseberg ship.

By the thirteenth century, we know that timbers from earlier ships were cleft and later they were sawn but the art of cleaving wide long boards for shipbuilding was lost for 800 years.

A team headed by Thomas Finderup, who built the large replica viking ships at Roskilde,Denmark, has developed what they believe to be methods used by shipwrights of that bygone era.

Currently the team is building a replica of the Oseberg ship. It is built entirely of cleft and hewn oak, no saws are used. You can follow this process on the Traditional Crafts Blog of the Heritage Crafts Association.


Chris Partridge said...

The 'how to split a tree into planks using only an axe' entry is fascinating. Thanks for the link!

doryman said...

I thought it might interest everyone here. I liked the comment about how a lot of the tree was carved away, but none of it went to waste. The handmade tools are great.
The horse head plane is art.

laingdon said...

Planks hewn to shape, steamed, and "clamped" to hull with shores and rocks- now that's my kind of boat building!

doryman said...

You've done a fair amount of that kind of shipbuilding, I know.
Those old Norse must have been building boats constantly. By the time you finished one, the last one was suffering from old age.

Anonymous said...

I talked to an old boatbuilder near Trondheim, Norway.
He said that a good boatbuilder could build a small boat in a week.

The replica building of the Osebergship is done by 10 people. There would most likely be around 100 when the built the original ship in year 823.

Former builder of the Oseberg replica.

doryman said...

I assume he was talking about a faering? - Although I can imagine someone could build one in a week, they would have to be the best. We mere mortals take much longer!

So this project will take ten years? That seems reasonable to me, though that's a lot of work in ten years.

It's hard to imagine people in a subsistence culture taking a year off to build a boat. They still had to support themselves!