Making a Mjolnir

At Gulf Wars this year, my good friend Bjarki impressed King Gareth and Queen Juliana so much at the Viking deed of arms that they gave him a silver ingot. He wasn’t sure what to do with it, so came to me. I told him we oughtta make something out of it. My first thought was a belt tip, but turns out that my research shows those were usually cast, not forged, and I’m straight garbage at casting. We didn’t really make any decisions, and he stuck the ingot into my jewelry bag for safekeeping.

We both promptly forgot about it for a couple weeks.

Then he decided he wanted to fight in Crown Tournament. His current girlfriend is lovely, but not super-interested in the SCA, so he’s been fighting for a Pelican from the other end of the kingdom – she’s great and it’s a good arrangement (bumps him up high enough on the roster for crown that he doesn’t have to challenge in). He wanted to give her a gift, and we remembered the ingot. We talked a bit, and he decided that giving her a Mjolnir was what he wanted.

I thought first that I’d see if I could cast one. Let’s see how that went first:

I carved a Thor’s Hammer into some soapstone for a mold, and heated up a bunch of scrap silver in my crucible with a MAPP gas torch.

Starting the pour. This never works for me.

Already a mess and I can tell this is a fail.


Not much to do but keep pouring at this point.


Big stupid muffinhammer.

Straight garbage. See that little ingot of silver on the anvil to my right? Gonna start over with that, because that’s actually Bjarki’s ingot. I had so little faith that this casting try would work I didn’t melt that one in with the scrap silver I had.

Anyways, yeah, total fail. I honestly just need to put more effort into learning the right way to cast silver – it’s a lot different than casting pewter, which I have a pretty good handle on. So anyways, I snatch up that little ingot of Bjarki’s and start hammerin’.

As usual, I use a hammer with one face rounded and polished clamped in my vise as an anvil, and use another hammer with a rounded and polished face to draw the ingot out, but striking glancing blows. This makes the hammers act like a rolling mill.

After each pass with the hammer, the ingot has to be annealed to soften it again. Silver work-hardens; you can only hit it once or twice before it becomes too hard and you run the risk of it cracking.

Still drawing it out. I’m pretty sure I’m not smart enough to forge the whole hammer, so I’m going to cheat a bit.
My high-tech quenching tank, with red-hot silver being dunked after annealing. It makes a fun hissing noise. Silver, unlike ferrous metals, doesn’t harden when heated and quenched.

That’s enough flattening. I sketched a long-handled Mjolnir onto it with a pencil – you can sorta see it there.

Then I got out the jeweler’s saw and started trimming. This is very tedious but very precise.

I’ve lopped off the end, now sawing up the handle. The Vikings would never have sawn silver – you’re wasting it. Everything they did was cast or hammer forged from cast ingots. I’m in a hurry though.
Still sawing my way up the long handle of the hammer.

Bunch more sawing and I end up with this. I gave it a final anneal, then a rough cleanup with a 220 grit sanding sponge.
I used some small files to round off all the edges and clean up some saw marks. I don’t feel bad about this like I do the sawing- files are period, they found some in the Mastermyr tool chest.

I sanded the faces with a 220 grit sanding sponge before I took it to the buffer for a quick initial polish.

Using handmade Viking-style stamps to decorate the face. You only get one chance to make a first impression…

Switched over to a tiny circle-dot stamp I made tonight for this project.

More cheating – I used a Whitney punch to make a hole in the end of the handle.

Had some silver wire, used a small hammer to draw the ends out a little for a more authentic look. If I was hardcore I’d have drawn this wire by hand myself. Tonight I ain’t about that life though.

Annealed the wire then wound the ends around itself. There are lots of historical finds with this kind of terminus.

Used a tiny buffing wheel to shine it up after annealing.

Finished with the hammer – but it’s got to be worn!

Once it was done, naturally I had to decide it needed more. I had a bit of fine silver rolo chain in my stash. “Rolo” chain describes a fairly archaic and simple type of chain where the links are all simple round or oval links. I cut 24″ of it, hung the Mjolnir on that, and fashioned a closure of silver wire to join the ends of the chain.
The clasp is a simple piece of silver wire that I melted one end of to get it ball-shaped, then threaded the chain onto it, then melted the other end.

No documentation because this is a gift, but it’s loosely based on this one found in Denmark:

The original archeological find from Rømersdal, Bornholm, Denmark. Dated to 790-1100 CE. Picture retrieved on 4/16/2022 from the Danish National Museum site:

I can’t see the backside of it, so I don’t know if there’s a pierced hole or a forged curl back there. The ring goes the wrong way for it to lay flat anyways, so I like my version better.

Further reading on Viking stamped jewelry and decorations can be had here:

and here:

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