Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Viking Round Shields Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
Richard K





Joined: 01 Jul 2019

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Thu 30 Jul, 2020 5:02 pm    Post subject: Viking Round Shields         Reply with quote

So I constructed a viking round shield recently and it weighs almost exactly 8lbs, which is on the lower end of 8-15lbs weight range per Hurstwic's website...
Now, I don't consider myself weak (probably more average in terms of strength), but I found it REALLY tough to keep the shield up in a neutral position for more than a few minutes at a time.
Does anyone have any experience with this as well? Are there any evidence for a strap system perhaps to assist with raising the shield?
View user's profile Send private message
Zach Gordon




Location: Vermont. USA
Joined: 07 Oct 2008

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 249

PostPosted: Fri 31 Jul, 2020 4:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As with everything, it will (of course) be super difficult at the beginning.. as your muscles haven't specifically developed to use the shield. Even someone who is very strong will have difficulty in using muscle groups that they aren't used to/using muscles in a new way.

The other thing to consider is just how much training, and the sorts of lives these guys would have had. These men were as fit as modern olympic athletes/royal marines/navy seals.

It will take some practice/time. Dont expect it to be instantly "easy" to wield something that you aren't used to.. but if you train with it frequently, you should develop the muscle memory eventually!

Z
View user's profile Send private message
Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

Posts: 1,394

PostPosted: Fri 31 Jul, 2020 5:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Zach Gordon wrote:
The other thing to consider is just how much training, and the sorts of lives these guys would have had. These men were as fit as modern olympic athletes/royal marines/navy seals.


Sorry, training? Vikings? I wasn't aware that there was much literature to support that, but it's not my main focus. I was kind of under the impression that a lot of Vikings were farmers and craftsmen who went raiding part-time or just now and then. I certainly agree that people were generally fit and tough back then, but even professionals like huscarls were not likely to be trained up to Olympic or SEAL standards.

Also (and again, not my main area of research!), 8 pounds sounds like a *maximum* weight for a shield like that, to me. Did you taper the thickness of the wood, so that it's thinner near the edges than at the center? That will make a huge difference in how if feels and handles. Shields did have carrying straps, but in battle you're just using the grip.

Matthew
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Leo Todeschini
Industry Professional



Location: Oxford, UK
Joined: 12 Nov 2006
Likes: 1 page

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,628

PostPosted: Fri 31 Jul, 2020 9:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is very much not my area of expertise (if I have any), but the Gokstad shields which I think we believe to be fairly real as opposed to just ornamental are around 10mm thick at the centre and down to maybe 5mm at the edges, tapered as Matt says and made of linden (lime; a light wood) according to the sagas. When I have made to these approximate dimensions, I have never weighed them, but there are no where near 8lbs; maybe 5-6 lbs max (estimate) including a 1.6mm thick boss.

I am in no way going to say Hurstwick is wrong, because I will admit I am off my core areas, but a 15lbs shield sounds so very very wrong to me....

For what its worth I have a circa 1400 heater shield here in 15mm poplar, canvas front and back, gesso and paint and that weighs 5.3lbs or 2.3Kg (no boss)

Tod

www.todsworkshop.com
www.todcutler.com
www.instagram.com/todsworkshop
www.facebook.com/TodTodeschini
www.youtube.com/user/todsstuff1
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Richard K





Joined: 01 Jul 2019

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Fri 31 Jul, 2020 5:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew Amt wrote:
Zach Gordon wrote:
The other thing to consider is just how much training, and the sorts of lives these guys would have had. These men were as fit as modern olympic athletes/royal marines/navy seals.


Sorry, training? Vikings? I wasn't aware that there was much literature to support that, but it's not my main focus. I was kind of under the impression that a lot of Vikings were farmers and craftsmen who went raiding part-time or just now and then. I certainly agree that people were generally fit and tough back then, but even professionals like huscarls were not likely to be trained up to Olympic or SEAL standards.

Also (and again, not my main area of research!), 8 pounds sounds like a *maximum* weight for a shield like that, to me. Did you taper the thickness of the wood, so that it's thinner near the edges than at the center? That will make a huge difference in how if feels and handles. Shields did have carrying straps, but in battle you're just using the grip.

Matthew


Yea It's tapered near the edge at around 6cm from the edge (as per Society for Combat Archaeology). The shield it self could be a bit thinner though. It's roughly 7mm a the edge, which is 3mm off from the gokstad shield. I don't think this would make that much difference with weight.

Also shield thickness varied, some examples were almost 1/2 inch thick. Mine is about 8mm, so I don't think 8lbs is out of realm of possibility.

edit: measurements.


Last edited by Richard K on Fri 31 Jul, 2020 5:52 pm; edited 1 time in total
View user's profile Send private message
Tyler Jordan





Joined: 15 Mar 2004

Posts: 104

PostPosted: Fri 31 Jul, 2020 6:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Roland Warzecha (Dimicator) has done more practical research on viking round shields than anyone I know of so you might want to check on some of his works, and these couple others I linked. Modern replicas built for authenticity have weighed between 4 and 8 lb, and a plank thickness of around 6-3mm to 10-5mm taper. interesting how the edge taper always seems to be to half of center thickness.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-DDWp3AoeI


https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10223251826860797&type=3
.
View user's profile Send private message
Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
Joined: 08 Dec 2004

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 3,476

PostPosted: Sat 01 Aug, 2020 4:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As already said, 8 lbs would be the upper range of these shields. Tapering the planks produces a weight closer to 5-6 lbs.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
View user's profile Send private message
Jeremy V. Krause




Location: Buffalo, NY.
Joined: 20 Oct 2003
Likes: 1 page
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,616

PostPosted: Sat 01 Aug, 2020 6:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tyler Jordan wrote:
Roland Warzecha (Dimicator) has done more practical research on viking round shields than anyone I know of so you might want to check on some of his works, and these couple others I linked. Modern replicas built for authenticity have weighed between 4 and 8 lb, and a plank thickness of around 6-3mm to 10-5mm taper. interesting how the edge taper always seems to be to half of center thickness.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-DDWp3AoeI


https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10223251826860797&type=3
.


This are great links and spectacular workmanship. aThanks for sharing.
View user's profile Send private message
Kai Lawson




Location: Madison, WI
Joined: 26 Aug 2010
Likes: 7 pages

Posts: 561

PostPosted: Sat 01 Aug, 2020 8:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I fenced at Ásfolk for a while (until it closed for COVID), and I was lucky enough to take a short class with him while I was there. It’s true that 8 lbs would be a heavier shield, but it also helps to bend forward and keep a straight back and low shoulders. Using your upper back and posture helps a lot. It looks like a less extreme version of some of the hinged postures seen in I.33. Roland shows it off plenty in his videos. I will also say that actually getting into it and dueling someone definitely helps remove the perceived weight. You’re much more focused on tiny movements and touches and positioning and such. It’s only after a few consecutive long bouts that you notice you’re starting to get tired.
"And they crossed swords."
--William Goldman, alias S. Morgenstern
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Viking Round Shields
Page 1 of 1 Reply to topic
All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2020 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum