The Tools that made The Vasa – ​Fred Hocker​ -​ Director of Research, Vasa Museum

Saturday & Sunday 11am​ & 3pm​

The Vasa is the only preserved seventeenth-century ship in the world, and a unique art treasure. More than 95 percent of the ship is original, and it is decorated with hundreds of carved sculptures.

The 69 metre-long warship Vasa sank on its maiden voyage in the middle of Stockholm in 1628, and was salvaged 333 years later in 1961. For nearly half a century the ship has been slowly, deliberately and painstakingly restored to a state approaching its original glory. The three masts on the roof outside the specially built museum show the height of the ship’s original masts. Today the Vasa Museum is the most visited museum in Scandinavia, with over one million visitors a year.

We are very privileged to welcome Fred Hocker, Director of Research at The Vasa Museum to the European Woodworking Show to present a short talk on the “The Tools that made the Vasa”​.

Although the ship’s complement included four carpenters for the maintenance of the hull, most of the tools recovered from the wreck of the Vasa are not shipwright’s tools, but a large chest full of the typical joiner’s tools of the period: smoothing and moulding planes, braces, shaves, squares and rules, and even a mitre box. The joiner also had a large planning bench, of the same type as described by Roubo, which survives intact. This talk will present the joiner’s tools in the context of the woodworking techniques seen in the wide variety of interior furnishings found in the ship, such as the frame-and-panel treatment of the walls of the great cabin, movable furniture (such as a dining table and the large cabinet for the compasses, called the bittacle) and a wide range of chests and boxes The talk will relate the finds from Vasa to the broader context of renaissance woodworking, as presented in treatises of the 17th and 18th centuries.

For a little introductory background to The Vasa see

Fred Hocker served as a shipwright’s apprentice at Mystic Seaport Museum before completing a BA in history at Middlebury College in 1984. He furthered his education with a diploma in history from Cambridge (1989) and a PhD in anthropology from Texas A&M University (1991). He was employed as the Yamini Faculty Fellow and then Yamini Associate Professor of Nautical Archaeology at Texas A&M from 1991, teaching medieval maritime seafaring and the history of shipbuilding. From 1994-1996 he served as the president of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology. While with INA, he participated in the Port Royal excavation and the reconstruction of the 11th-century Serçe Limanı hull remains, and directed the recording of a 15th-century cog and a 17th-century passenger ferry in the Netherlands, the excavation of an 18th-century pilot sloop at Clydesdale Plantation on the Savannah River in South Carolina, and the excavation of the 9th-century Byzantine shipwreck at Bozburun, Turkey. In 1999 he moved to Europe to be a full-time senior researcher at the National Museum of Denmark Centre for Maritime Archaeology in Roskilde, where he led development of new techniques for archaeological documentation and research and directed the excavation of a 12th-century cog at Kolding. Since 2003 he has been the Director of Research at the Vasa Museum in Stockholm, Sweden, where he is responsible for the comprehensive publication of the find. In 2014-2015 he was a visiting fellow in archaeology at Cambridge University. His research interests focus on shipbuilding and maritime economics in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Web links:

Sharpen Knives, Chisels, Plane Blades the Tormek Way – Stig Reitan

Saturday & Sunday 12.30pm

Come and learn from the Stig how to sharpen your knives, chisel and plane blades the Tormek way! Tormek has developed a unique sharpening system for edge tools, which is appreciated worldwide for its unbeatable versatility, accuracy and ease of use. Stig began working with Tormek in 2010 and is the Country Sales Manager for USA, Scandinavia and the Baltic countries. Stig’s skills combined with an enthusiasm for sharpening make it easy to learn from him.

Compass and Ruler – The Primary Tools – Adam Tetlow – CANCELLED DUE TO UNFORESEEN CIRCUMSTANCES

Saturday & Sunday 1.45pm

Compass and Ruler – The Primary Tools

The understanding of practical geometry has shaped the arts and crafts of every human culture in every period. Join geometer Adam Tetlow on a journey through nature and culture as he explores this primary mode of making.

Adam Tetlow is an artist, geometer and writer. A former student of Professor Keith Critchlow, Adam is author of ‘Celtic Pattern’, co-author of ‘Sacred Number’ (as Miranda Lundy) and contributor to ‘Quadrivium’, ‘Designa’ and ‘Trivium’ all published by Wooden Books. Adam teaches traditional geometry and Celtic pattern courses both with the Princes School of Traditional Arts and independently, his website is