Medieval wood riving – An attempt to recreate craftsmanship

Medieval wood riving – An attempt to recreate craftsmanship

The movie describes an attempt to split a thirteen meter long log of pine tree. The riving was done by radial cuts. The original was founded in the spire of the church of Hardemo southwest of Örebro city in the province of Närke. The church was built approximately between 1180 – 1220. These rafts are produced from the log by a method which never been documented before. One side of the rafts is raw sapwood which is rare in churches from the Middle age. All woodworking are done with tools that are modelled on archaeological findings. The felling and riving of the tree are performed with a few axes and tools.

The movie Medieval wood riven describes an experiment grounded from the medieval roofing project. The project is financed by the Swedish church- Strängnäs.
The movie was recorded 29 March until 1 April 2016 in Ryfors, Mullsjö, Sweden.


  1. Tim Barry on July 8, 2023 at 1:42 pm

    Great video

  2. Urban Lumberjack on July 8, 2023 at 1:45 pm

    This is amazing! Wonderful project and fascinating to use tools the original builders would also have used

  3. Matthew W on July 8, 2023 at 1:48 pm

    Great video! Thank you for making and sharing it.

  4. J.whiteye on July 8, 2023 at 1:48 pm

    this very interesting that the wood structure is still standing this long .. I can see stone or something but wood ??

  5. le_femto on July 8, 2023 at 1:49 pm

    Cut down a 195 year old tree…for an educational video. This production company sees no value in something unless there is a price tag.

    An illustration could have sufficed and he could have worked on a reclaimed tree that had to be cut due to illness or that was struck by a non-human natural occurrence.

  6. Russ Martin on July 8, 2023 at 1:49 pm

    Very labor intensive. Building a church must have been a very long process extending over many years.

  7. KEVIN MITHNICK on July 8, 2023 at 1:50 pm

    With the advent of recent conflicts. This knowledge is highly valued

  8. J.whiteye on July 8, 2023 at 1:52 pm

    seriously this wood is 700 + yrs old ?? wood can last that long with rotting an wat not

  9. Paul Whitehouse on July 8, 2023 at 1:52 pm

    Wonderful to see the old techniques are being retained, there is a fundamental need for such skills, particularly as we head towards a society that has become increasingly specialised.

  10. Jordan Strang on July 8, 2023 at 1:53 pm

    Fint gjort, flera olika yxor och verktyg till jobbet också. Önskar att de var också visad mer

  11. David Wilhelm on July 8, 2023 at 1:54 pm

    I’m curious about what will happen as the wood dries? Is warpage a problem?

  12. David Hipwell on July 8, 2023 at 1:55 pm

    What’s the debarking tool at 7:46?

  13. Zoltan Barath on July 8, 2023 at 1:55 pm

    Great job men, really amazing.
    As you are craftsmen you might be interested in old techniques. I attach a film of an old carpenter in Mátra Hills, Hungary. The film was shot at 1955 by the Museum of Ethnography, Budapest.
    The old craftsman and his wife made a beechwood crate, applying raw wood and pre-dried wooden nails.
    The language is Hungarian but, I think you may find familiar techniques and tools just watching it.

  14. Malia Jones on July 8, 2023 at 1:56 pm

    very good job, but I see the chain saw in 9:48

  15. Steve Smith on July 8, 2023 at 1:58 pm

    Here is how it was done in Australia, many years ago. The timber is hard wood as well. Its a great video.

  16. Jan Kokes on July 8, 2023 at 1:59 pm

    How long does it have to dry before using in the construction?

  17. Rod Parker on July 8, 2023 at 1:59 pm

    What type of pine is this tree ?

  18. Hans Stepford on July 8, 2023 at 2:04 pm


    X is recovering from her rape. People blame me. Shoot the guys, they probably want. In this case, govt people were involved.

  19. Kevin Hart on July 8, 2023 at 2:06 pm

    use an adze, flatten the top of the log, while straddling it. MUCH safer for your legs than an axe.

  20. Seth Warner on July 8, 2023 at 2:07 pm

    Wow, have you really decided to cut out the heartwood? Usually, the sapwood is cut away, being more desirable than the heart by insects; so it lasts longer after construction! You guys probably know more than me…

  21. 發發發 on July 8, 2023 at 2:08 pm

    How wasteful

  22. Dave's Hunting, Shooting, and Bushcraft on July 8, 2023 at 2:09 pm

    Really enjoyed your efforts in discovering how the rafters were hewed

  23. Dale Costich on July 8, 2023 at 2:10 pm

    one word…….Stihl……..

  24. Harry Mason on July 8, 2023 at 2:11 pm


  25. john smith on July 8, 2023 at 2:12 pm

    It is better to cut trees in winter, as they do not have as much sap. It will be dry in a few years.

  26. Heseblesens on July 8, 2023 at 2:14 pm

    Fantastisk video! Disse arbeiderene viser kunnskap og styrke og godt samarbeid.

  27. Doc Lex on July 8, 2023 at 2:14 pm

    it is best preserved by talking to each other, but that will soon be a forgotten craft im afraid…

  28. Gene Simons on July 8, 2023 at 2:15 pm

    I thoroughly enjoyed this.. very enlightening!

  29. Samuel Dougoud on July 8, 2023 at 2:15 pm

    Your humble approach, your refined technique and sound knowledge are a splendid tribute to that majestic tree. The generations of foresters who dedicated their care to its growth would certainly approve your work.

  30. J. B. on July 8, 2023 at 2:15 pm

    Everything about this video is wonderful. The tree that was cut down for the project, was absolutely perfect. Excellent forest management. It was neat to watch him fell it with an axe.

  31. Jeep Man on July 8, 2023 at 2:15 pm

    What an honor it is to be able to connect with their ancestors in this way.

  32. TheCleric42 on July 8, 2023 at 2:16 pm

    Even the English captioning is great in this video. Finding correct translations for old and specific terms like hewing and riving between Swedish and English is non-trivial.

  33. EDGARDO Romero on July 8, 2023 at 2:19 pm

    Very educational and beautiful, now I realize how the Vikings made their ships they had steel for tools and trees to build and an intelligence and tenacity- patience to work with, the Swedes in this case are amazing the level of perfection to build goals!

  34. d nebula on July 8, 2023 at 2:23 pm

    One of the reasons it took hundreds of years to build medieval cathedrals.

  35. NDNPlumber on July 8, 2023 at 2:24 pm

    I just want the axe home boy gots

  36. Srulio on July 8, 2023 at 2:24 pm

    This video shows a team of people going to great lengths to maintain a 800 year old church. The team shows considerable skill in rediscovering histroic building methods while aiming for economy of materials and labour. Very commendable.

  37. randall dunkley on July 8, 2023 at 2:25 pm

    All though history better methods were introduced to produce a better product. Many times, it is discovered that these improvements in one industry provided insight into another. Some were "before their time" but later found to be able to be incorporated. These techniques that are shown as to how it was done then, and it would be useless to use anything but the available tools of the day. Excellent.

  38. Phil Kammann on July 8, 2023 at 2:26 pm

    Thank you for doing this. Very interesting.

  39. Marcel Teugels on July 8, 2023 at 2:27 pm

    Why is the sapwood stronger than the heartwood as he mentions at 20:30?

  40. Alex Cox on July 8, 2023 at 2:27 pm

    That log split was super informative! Thanks for sharing this?

  41. Captain Blacktooth on July 8, 2023 at 2:28 pm

    My wife and our children are all academics and research doctors. As such we are invested in many forms of academia.

    This form of experimental archaeology is so worthwhile, to understand our past achievements and the skills and insights lost. Plus it also shows how much information is lost relatively quickly, when information is passed on only by action and word of mouth, rather than being written down or written in a style which we still understand … These days we are dependent on video and electronics. Hopefully our own information will survive in EMP resistant vaults somewhere.

    My next thought is the immense amount of physical labour. Labour which was being carried out by people without modern clothing, foods, modern medicine or lifestyles. 1300’s Europe on average saw life expectancies after 15yr old of around 40yr- 60 yr old, though the Black death soon dented that and from 1500 to 1800 that average dropped to between 30-40yr old.

    Thank you for an interesting video and that Örebro läns museum is doing such fine work. Thanks again

  42. Guy Prolly on July 8, 2023 at 2:29 pm

    This is a most important project. Largely, meaning has been devolved from life by everything being so easy and at the reach of ready-made products. The part at the end about saving labour, saving material, and creating a strong rafter, were most impressive. Many thanks for the hard work.

  43. Paul Briggs on July 8, 2023 at 2:31 pm

    I have a funny theory. New York State had both Norway spruce and these same pines (Pinus Sylvestris) introduced centuries ago. The Norway spruce possibly grow here better than there. I suspect good genetic sources for those trees. I have seen them over 4 ft diameter in 100 years and as tall as our tallest white pines. But all our Scots pines as we call them are scraggly- none like those. I think new seed needs to be imported from there.

  44. Shantel Fullerton on July 8, 2023 at 2:32 pm

    Quick easy access to many projects with Woodglut plans.

  45. Seth Warner on July 8, 2023 at 2:32 pm

    Are you sure the old guys didn’t use a saw to cut the base even? What a waste of gorgeous tree! The other thing is, how to counter the twisting of the tree as it grew? Certainly, in 195 years, it twisted while growing! So, how to keep your split straight?Sorry about all questions, but I’m curious, plus I might do this in the future. What is the woden hammer made of? How do you keep it from crushing and falling apart, even with the bands?

  46. Stephen Bamford on July 8, 2023 at 2:33 pm

    Impressive!. Genius! Brilliant!

  47. 허구한날 on July 8, 2023 at 2:34 pm

    누구든지 예수를 믿는 자는 멸망하지 않고 영생을 얻게 됩니다.
    그리스도 예수 안에 있는 자는 죄용서 받고 죄와 사망의 법에서 영원히 해방됩니다. 예수는 하나님 만나는 유일한 길이요 진리요 생명입니다. 그분은 십자가에서 그대의 모든 문제를 해결하셨습니다. 예수를 믿고 영접하세요.

  48. Enthusiastic Zestful Villainy on July 8, 2023 at 2:38 pm

    is there any particular reason why they did not use chain saw?

  49. Carl Brunberg on July 8, 2023 at 2:38 pm

    Very nice. It would be valuable to each of the tools used close up. I had a broad axe from my great garandfather and it was flat on one side. I wasn’t sure if that was by design or if it was easier for him to make it that way. My feeling was it was for hewing a flat side. Some day maybe I will travel to Tving and look at the houses he built. Maybe there are lessons there for me.

  50. The Green Revival on July 8, 2023 at 2:39 pm

    This blew my mind. Thank you for sharing