Our hand made replica of the Mastermyr Chest

by

Troldhaugen Woodworks.

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In 1936, on an island off the coast of Sweden, a farmer plowing a recently drained swampland was stopped by something buried in the ground. He found his plowshare entangled in an old chain. As he dug deeper he found the chain wrapped around a chest that contained many old tools. Subsequent investigation by Sweden's archaeologists revealed that it was a tool chest from the Viking Age and, though a millenium old, these tools would not have been out of place in any modern smith's forge or carpenter's workshop.

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The original Mästermyr chest is made of oak, 86.0 - 88.5 cm in length and dates from 1000 A.D. Currently the find is housed at the Statens Historiska Museum in Stockholm, Sweden, ref no. 21592.

Greta Arwidsson gives a wonderful description of the oak chest:

"Chest of oak with lock and hinges of iron. The chest is rectangular with a lid curved in cross section and a flat bottom. The bottom is joined to the ends by mortice and tenon joints. The chest is held together by wooden pegs at the ends and sides. The ends and sides are trapezoid and therefore slope inwards at a slight angle. The ends, which are made of a slightly thicker scantling than the sides and bottom, have a rectangular mortice about 4 cm from the lower edge for the tenons of the bottom plank. The lower portion of each end thus forms a raised base.

The ends, sides, bottom and lid each seem to have been made from a single piece of wood. The underside of the lid is hollowed out, leaving an oval, trough-like depression. On either side of the depression the underside of the lid is flat, where the original thickness of the plank has been preserved; this provides a good fit against the upper edges of the end planks.

The sides are pegged to the ends and the bottom and the bottom is joined by mortice and tenon to the ends; a rectangular tenon at each end of the bottom plank fits into a mortice in the ends...

 

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As stated in the title of this page this is not an item manufactured by DraugarVinlands. This chest is one of the very few items that one of our members didn't craft on their own. Troldhaugen approached us and asked if we would test their prototype Mastermyr chest and put it through its paces. We have put it through many hours of use in rain, snow, and sun. We have been very pleased with its quality, historical accuracy, durability, and quite frankly surprised by just how much this chest will actually hold.