Disir – Viking Longship Project

Disir – Gokstad Replica

Viking Ship Construction

Click on above link to see event in FB

There already is information on this on the 7th Winternights Festival FB page 2017 Winternights Festival Project A lot of prep work was done for the kick off meeting which was held on May21. Now that its underway we’ll continue updates on the project here as posts. This project may be opened up to crowdfunding and/or donations as allowed/feasible.

Updates are posted below but if you would like to receive email updates and/or to sign-up to help on either logistics or actual building of the longship please use this form:

Winternights Contact Us Form

First Name
Last Name
Your message

Viking Longship Disir – 10/01 Update

Finished debarking 1st 30′ log and 80% done with debarking second 30′ log. These are the keel and main planking logs. Built a iron pipe holder for them to get them off ground through the winter months. They also will be out of the way for festival and other things until work resumes on them next spring. I expect this to be done by Tue next week(10/3). Going to get some leveling done on yard, least that’s the plan, and then move and work on 2 smaller logs & end stems to get them started for festival. They will be used as part of festival’s ship building village area.

Viking Longship Disir – 08/31 Update

Debarking Day 2 though only a few hours as working on repairing Troll Bridge & maintaining Freya Runestone. You can see Frey in background wrapped in white plastic. Technically we are not totally debarking the logs yet. We are scrapping off the outer bark but down to the inner bark “phloem”. This to take away a place for bugs to hide and cocoon and second to provide bark for barbecues & stoves. Part of the plan is to give this to seniors or residents in need for heating in winter months if they have safe wood burning stoves. We’ll use a little too at the festival for the encampment areas.

Debarking 1st log Day 2

Viking Longship Disir – 08/30 Update

We have 3 kinds of debarking tools but it seems for these logs the 10″ draw knife works well. Its nice too because the logs are so big one just sits on them with a leg on each side then draws the tool toward you. Its easy on the back and really only using arm muscles so not very tiring. Here is a photo of a log we started on.

Debarking of Logs has Begun

Viking Longship Disir – 08/25 update

We mentioned wood for making actual ship components but we also need it to make charcoal for melting the bog ore. Yep, we will also as part of the encampment have a charcoal making area. We’ll also need lots of mud for making the charcoal distiller, pine tar distiller, and ore melting bloomery furnace. Mud making 101 too LOL. Oh and straw (or dried horse manure, yuk – with straw in it). Think we’ll just go with the straw for health safety reasons.

Viking Longship Disir – 08/24 update

Longship “DISIR” postponement:

Sadly we will not be able to have a finished or even partially completed longship in time for this festival. We do not want a partial one to be sitting over winter and believe the town might not appreciate it. Instead, and so as to potentially gain helpers for when we do, we will set up a ship building encampment at the festival.

Ship Building Encampment:

We will have the Vinland Longships “Skogar Þrostur” and their replica Viking encampment. If you’ve watched Vikings on the history channel you’ve seen how they build a working village(encampment) as needed where needed. So in addition to that we will add a ship building/repair area to our site. In it we will present various educational & enlightenment stages on preparations to build or repair a longship. Basically one needs 3 types of items – wood, sealing, and metal.

Hopefully the Norns are weaving the arrival of our white oak logs at least a couple of weeks prior to the festival. Our plan then is to have one log debarked ready to begin the splitting/marking process, one partially into the splitting process, one split in half with the other half fully split down to workable plank pieces, and a curved log for the stems(ends) split in half. From the log that is down to planks we will have one plank being hewed and one completed. All of the associated tools will be present along with explanations on the steps of the process.

We will not be making the rope/matting insulation but will have it in a basket as though that step were done, perhaps over the winter months. One also needs pine tar so we will have set up the pit to distill pine wood into pine tar. For safety and environmental reasons we will not actually be burning (destructive distillation) the pine but will show what the setup would look like, what wood you want to use, and some finished pine tar we already have.

Iron is needed for making the fasteners aka nails and ro (think big rivets with washers) but its also needed for making all the tools required to work on the logs and planking. For safety, environmental, and local fire codes, probably (though will check) can’t have a working iron blooming furnace. Instead we will have an area that shows what goes into making a Viking Furnace , a completed ready to smelt raw ore furnace, and an example of one that has already been used plus the resulting iron bloom(raw solidified chunk of iron). Add a big rock (seriously what they used) for forging and shaping of the bloom into usable iron pieces. We also will have at least one if not several blacksmiths on site showing how the nails, rooves, axes, adses, hammers, etc might have been made.

This is addition to all the other areas and activities should make for a great festival even with a completed ship plus you’ll see and be able to sign up for the actual building of it come next spring.

Viking Longship Disir – 08/18 Update

Another week gone by without logs being cut and delivered. This means completing the longship for this year is definitely out of the question. We will endeavor to put together a nice ship building display and educational instruction venue for 2017 Winternights Festival instead. If we do not get logs within next two weeks then that also will have to be severely tailored back. It also means we need to start looking for logs elsewhere to be cut down early next spring. 🙁

Viking Longship Disir – 08/14 Update

Due to monsoon rain last Mon and wedding the weekend following the delivery of oak logs has been delayed. The weather looks good for cutting and delivering them this week but now we are down to 8 weeks to complete all the tasks. As we’ve said in the past rushing to get it done isn’t as important as doing it right. Several of us in discussing it believe it may be better to start the process of preparing the keel, planks, stems and not try to finish it this year. Instead of having a completed ship for the festival we will have a Viking ship building area which shows all of the pieces, how they are made, demonstrations and talks on the process, and even perhaps let attendees work on a sample log. A viking ship building village area to go along with the rest of viking areas. We still will have a completed viking replica ship (faering) the Skogar Þrostur on display. We’ll see what happens and decide as we get into actually working on the logs. We’ll need time for prepping for this festival too hence our concern on trying to rush it.

Viking Longship Disir – 08/09 Update

Went and asked all three trees for acceptance of their becoming part of a viking longship to honor Vikings and the Disir (as well as them). Here are photos of the 3 trees and of our talking with one of them.

First of 3 Trees

Second of 3 Trees

Third of 3 Trees

Asking Trees Acceptance

Viking Longship Disir – 08/08 Update

The other two splitting hammers/mauls we ordered were shipped late yesterday. They had been on back order. Two Viking style broad axes also have been shipped. These are coming from Europe. Hopefully the third style broad axe, one we are having made, will be available soon too. All three of these will be on display along with being used in hewing our oak logs into planks.

Viking Style Broad Axe 01

Viking Style Broad Axe 02