Project image
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$1,460
pledged of $2,700pledged of $2,700 goal
43
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, January 10 2014 12:01 AM UTC +00:00
Last updated January 10, 2014

Pursuing the Viking Blade

The pursuit of knowledge, tradition, and culture through the the Viking sword. Every tool tells a story, it's time to listen.

Pursuing the Viking Blade

The pursuit of knowledge, tradition, and culture through the the Viking sword. Every tool tells a story, it's time to listen.

$1,460
pledged of $2,700pledged of $2,700 goal
43
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, January 10 2014 12:01 AM UTC +00:00
Last updated January 10, 2014

About

There are few symbols as evocative and mysterious as the sword, and among those the iconic viking sword. A weapon as fearsome as it is beautiful. As a blacksmith and bladesmith there is no higher achievement then the creation of one of these magnificent artifacts. 

This project will document, through photographs and videos, the creation of a viking pattern welded sword. It's is my goal to use the funds to recreate the viking sword on display at the Minnesota History Center, to explore the ancient techniques used in bringing this artifact back to life, and to explore the historic and modern culture from which this artifact comes. Ultimately, the sword created will be donated to the Minnesota History Center to, hopefully, be displayed alongside a true viking sword on loan from Oslo, Norway. Minnesota is the home of the largest Scandinavian population in the USA and as such I thought it fitting that it should have a presence there, as a representation of the blending of our cultural heritage.  Both Scandinavian and American, a people with a shared past and tradition embodied in this viking sword.

The sword is no longer used as a weapon and has instead become a way to tell a story. It is my personal goal to bring to light the idea of the sword as a medium by which to tell the story of our shared heritage.  Not something to be kept hidden and locked as a symbol of our past, but something that should be on display for everyone to see how we are continually connected by both the past and present.

The billet of raw steel placed in the forge.
The billet of raw steel placed in the forge.

This project will start by hand forging differing steels together and manipulating them to create a pattern as seen on the project image. After this the blade is forged and then filed, ground, and polished. It is then hardened and tempered, polished again and etched to bring out the pattern in the steel. After this point in the project the sword has gone from imagination to steel to a sword blade, with the creation of the handle being the next step. The guard must be carved and fitted from wrought iron and inlayed with copper. Then the handle must be carved from reclaimed bog oak that is hundreds of years old. After the sword its self is complete then a scabbard is carved from curly birch and given metal fittings and a ornamental box to hold the sword and sheath. In total this project will take approximately 500 hours.

Risks and challenges

There are many risks and challenges involved in this project, with each failure being very demanding. At almost any point in the forging of this sword it could have a catastrophic failure forcing me to start from scratch, and the same goes with many of the other steps. Each point in the creation of this swords risks the destruction of all of the previous steps and can send you back to square one.
Thankfully, with now seven years of experience I have experienced (in almost equal amounts) many of the possible failures and successes involved in this project. While I have done each part of this project on it's own this will be my first attempt at combining every one of these skills into one piece. This project will require every skill I possess, but I feel that with my knowledge and experience, not to mention some luck, that it will succeed. It is in overcoming each of these challenges that the true character of the sword comes to reflect the story of its past and its place in the present.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1

    Receive photos and written updates on the progress of the sword before it is shown publicly.

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    A 6 x 8 print of the finished sword as well as email updates on the project's progress.

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    4 backers
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    A stainless steel keychain with the Wilderness Ironworks logo featuring a compass and a print of the finished sword, as well as email updates on the project's progress.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    A hand made T-shirt depicting an image of the completed sword and a Wilderness Ironworks Logo with compass on the back, as well as email updates on the project's progress.

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    6 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    A Wilderness Ironworks keychain, t-shirt, a print of the finished sword, and email updates on the project's progress.

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    2 backers
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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    A Wilderness Ironwowrks T-shirt and Keychain, plus a hand carved antler necklace carved by Robert Burns, as well as email updates on the project's progress.

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Funding period

- (30 days)