My name is Lars, and I’m a cheater

My great achievement this weekend was building a table, for my Viking setup. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s a “Viking table,” because it doesn’t actually much resemble any known table from archeology, and is a cheat in any case. This is what I did, and why:

The table I’ve been using for book selling for the last several years was a random thrift store find—a table apparently designed for some kind of display, consisting of a circular pressed board top and three dowel legs which screwed into flanges. It wasn’t even close to authentic, but when I threw a sheepskin over it, it looked OK, because the round legs did look like known Viking table legs.

Vikings,mail,Decorah,Nordic Fest

That table had been working itself loose for a while, though, and it finally died in Minot last fall, when a heavy object (me) fell on it. So I needed a new table.

My plan was to try to do something like the actual replica table described in this article, but with longer legs. However, I couldn’t find the article while I was working, so I worked from memory, which was (as is so often the case) unreliable. The table I constructed looks like this:

Viking table

As you can see, it’s made to give the impression that the legs have been “joined” to the table—whittled narrow at the top, and then driven into tight holes all the way through, so that their ends show on the surface.

That’s the cheat. In fact the “ends” are just plugs hammered into holes in the wood. The legs are actually screw-in legs pretty much the same as my old table had:

Viking table bottom

I did it this way, not out of sheer laziness, but because of space constraints. Poor Mrs. Hermanson, my Chevy Tracker, is limited in her load capacity, and is already pretty much full up when I load her for a Viking event. There’s no place in there for a table with fixed legs. This one I can break down.

The result isn’t ideal, but I think it looks adequately like a theoretically defensible period table, if you don’t examine it too closely. I don’t like the tapered legs. I’ll replace them with straight ones, if I ever find any.

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