hewing a white oak 6"x6"

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Mar 10, 2011
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I just found this. What was interesting to me was the way he positioned and hewed the log. He uses two tools:

An axe (Dayton pattern?)
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and an adze (I believe a spur head ship carpenters adze)
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Bob
 
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Cool video Bob. I recently picked one of those adzes up and kind of wondered how it was used.
 
That was excruciating for me to watch. This kid has made up his own method to hew a log using the wrong tools and techniques. You did notice how the footage skips ahead to the finished product ? The way he is doing this takes about 20 times the amount of time it would take to hew correctly with a broadaxe. An adze was historically a dressing tool and not the right tool to square a round log. Does the fact that his adze is a lipped SHIPWRIGHT adze tell you what it was designed for? Please dont watch videos like this and believe that you have seen how to do it yourself.
 
That was excruciating for me to watch. This kid has made up his own method to hew a log using the wrong tools and techniques. You did notice how the footage skips ahead to the finished product ? The way he is doing this takes about 20 times the amount of time it would take to hew correctly with a broadaxe. An adze was historically a dressing tool and not the right tool to square a round log. Does the fact that his adze is a lipped SHIPWRIGHT adze tell you what it was designed for? Please dont watch videos like this and believe that you have seen how to do it yourself.

Good to know that isn't how they are normally used. That adze would be used like any other full-size adze then? On top of the log using it in downward/pulling strokes careful of your feet all the way? I haven't hewn anything with a broad axe *would like to set one up and learn*. A hewing hatchet, yes but not with any advice other than what I've picked up here.

Old Axeman, aside from the video being a poor example of its use, what is a lipped shipwrights adze used for, primarily? I mean, with the upturned edges and the "spike" on the other side. Final dressing cross or with the grain? For example, cleaning up the interior or exterior of a structure (like a ship for example?). The spike for starting nail/connector holes, marking something off? It looks similar to the tapered end on the hammers we brought up a couple of months ago where I think you posted a video link to a fellow using one on a ship build - also on a much shorter handle than I find them.

The one I picked up was used as a grub hoe from the looks of it.

*This more in line with its intended use? I don't have sound but looks more along dressing as opposed to hewing.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2o5leRq4eyk
 
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Painful to watch. He makes it so hard on himself to hew up on those saw horses. Horizontal blows for juggling!?! Eeeeewwwwww! About the only way to make it harder would be to hew with a sharp rock tied to a stick.

And for godsake somebody buy that boy a level.
 
"I don't think Hank dunnit thisaway..."

I do miss times in the woods making chips though.

Bill
 
First, I did not post this thread to to imply in any way that "the kid" had the right way. I have never hewn a log, but have an interest in the techniques used. I said the video was "interesting" because I have not seen a log squared up that way. I think it would be a great discussion to compare the kid's method to a traditional one. Rather than just jumping on the kid why not go into the why? Has anyone tried his methods to compare?

I hope this creates a thoughtful discussion.:)

THE OLD AXEMAN vs KID CHICKADEE

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Bob
 
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Glad to start the conversation. And I applaud him for his efforts!

Much easier to layout with a level. A plumb bob works but once he had his original line it would have been faster just to draw lines parallel to that first line. All lines, plumb and horizontal can be drawn quickly with the same level. Also, if you want to get the maximum sized timber out of a trunk then it's better to layout from a measured center rather than the center ring of the tree which might not actually be centered.

Swinging his axe horizontal uses much more effort and decreases control because you're fighting gravity. Both his notch cuts and his juggling cuts would be much easier if the log was close to the ground. Larger logs you stand on. Smaller logs you stand behind.

Using the adze again he wastes a ton of energy. Better to stand up on the timber and hew under your own toes. Or even set the log very low and hew between your legs. This way you're just moving the adze forward and back and not fighting gravity with every stroke and wasting effort.

Oh, that I were that young again and had that much effort to spend.
 
. . .Much easier to layout with a level. A plumb bob works but once he had his original line it would have been faster just to draw lines parallel to that first line. All lines, plumb and horizontal can be drawn quickly with the same level. Also, if you want to get the maximum sized timber out of a trunk then it's better to layout from a measured center rather than the center ring of the tree which might not actually be centered. . .
If it makes any difference the kid wants a 6 x 6. It will be the starting course of a shop he is building. That's also why the White oak, it was the best rot resistant species he had available to cut down. But speaking of layout this snip is from another hewing video posted awhile back. I thought it was pretty neat.

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. . .Oh, that I were that young again and had that much effort to spend.

No kidding. :D

So far I've only skimmed this blog, but the kid seems to keep busy. He seems to be into all sorts of woodworking using vintage/antique hand tools.
https://mrchickadee.wordpress.com/
(If this is OT, too bad, I started the post)

Bob
 
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Cool video Bob. I recently picked one of those adzes up and kind of wondered how it was used.

Thanks, I'm curious too. Here is a not so great snip from a YouTube video of one being used on the outside hull of a ship.

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The video is titled Ship Building in Maine.
(EDIT: the youtube title is "Ship Building in Main.mpeg", but the title in the video is actually "Shipbuilders of Essex". My mistake - thank you John A. Larsen)


It's an interesting video, but not really a lot of actual building in it.

Bob

Oh, and if you ever wondered how to remove a handle from an adze, check out this video from an expert at a little over a minute in:

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The methods he was using to do his layouts seemed strange, but in the end I think he did a pretty good job hewing that log up considering what he had to do the job. Right now if I wanted to hew a log all I've got is a couple of hatchets and a 3.5lb Michigan that needs a haft. So I'd probably have to use a hatchet and a garden hoe to try and do it.:D

So I'd say give him a break ( at least he's trying to construct a building from hand hewn logs )
 
"Makin' do with what you got..."
"There's more than one way to skin a cat..."
I agree that the young man isn't using the proper tools or technique, but I do admire his tenacity.
 
rjdankert, I had watched that Swedish (?) video before and wanted to watch it again, but cannot get it to open or find it on You Tube? Could be me as I am not very good with a computer, is it still there on you Tube? Thanks, John
 
I found this one on youtube, seems like a really good example on how the old pros did it. Not sure if you guys have seen this one.

[video=youtube;AP5-SgqF1J8]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AP5-SgqF1J8[/video]
 
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I found this one on youtube, seems like a really good example on how the old pros did it. Not sure if you guys have seen this one. . .
I subscribe to Harry Rogers' videos, so I've seen it.

"This tool was used up until about 1240"
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Neat stuff. :thumbsup:


Bob
 
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Grimalkin-Sorry, but this Harry Rogers does not have a clue how to hew a log. By the way, there are no fat Pros in axework. I am tied up now, but will get back later on this and everybodys questions. For pros, look at the historic footage on broadaxe hewing that Square peg posted. Dont just take my word, see if you can find anything on two great broadaxe men that are still alive- Doug Reed and Peter Gott. More later.
 
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