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I was able to do some more bone work this week. Using a combination of hand tools and power tools I finished shaping and drilling out a diz from a section of deer skull.

A diz is a tool used by spinners to draft a consistent thickness of combed fiber before spinning.  This helps ensure the singles being spun are uniform in thickness so there aren’t any subs in the yarn.  I have heard of a French book that contains medieval diz’ but I haven’t seen any my self.  I think in the later period, when production spinning was done by guilds, diz could have been used to ensure consistency in product.


Hmmm.  Those holes look awfully small in that picture… And the pic is upside down…

It’s hard to see in this pic but there were some light veining marks on the disc that made it look like a peace symbol.  Kinda neat in that.  All that is left is the final polishing and adding a ring to the hole closest to the edge for mounting on a chatelaine chain.

I also took part of a leg bone and tried to work out a primitive lucet tool.


I used a cope saw to cut off the jagged end where my dog had been chewing on it.  The cut section will be used for more needles and possibly a hair pin.  Then I put it in the vice to begin the shaping…


Yep, it broke… Into pieces…  Bah!  Well, hope is not all lost, I hope to continue with one of the cross sections and turn out a tool suitable for lucet.  The rest of the bits will go into other projects.  I’m thinking the top piece will be nice engraved and made into a pendant. 


Last night (when I should have been sleeping) I was once again reading Cathy’s Costuming Blog which has a very interesting entry from May 16, 2011 concerning Viking Age Lucet Tools.

Lucet is a method of producing cording using a tool with 2 to 4 prongs.  The thread is wrapped around the prongs in a figure 8 fashion multiple times and the bottom threads pulled over the upper threads and off the prong.  Repeating these actions will create a cord, the thickness and design depending on the method of wrapping, the number of prongs and the method of lifting the thread off the prong.

Cathy gave numerous links in the post to varied styles of tools found in archaeological digs believed to be used to produce Lucet cords.   One of the links led to The Armour Archive and a comment thread that I found very interesting, being that the person who had access to the tools took one of them and produced a Lucet cord on it.

In my searches, most of the Viking age Lucet tools I’ve seen have been made of bone, but a gentleman from the Kalmar County Museum in Sweden describes one made from folded bronze plate.  Running a Google search for ‘tinbl bein’ also led to numerous other articles and pictures of tools.  I had carved a Maple forked branch into a Lucet tool but now I have a serious hankering for something a little more elaborate.

Lucet Tool on Right with 3 Antler Needles- the needle attached with yarn is for lifting the bottom over the top thread

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