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#33699 - 05/28/16 10:00 PM Re: Hand Hewn Oak Beam ***** [Re: northern hewer]
northern hewer Offline
Member

Registered: 03/17/02
Posts: 1093
hello everyone tonight

Hi Dave

thanks for coming on board
that was interesting about the buffalo hides, never heard that before but stands to reason because of the great number of them on the prairies and the western USA

cattle hides around here were the big sellers, the long belt we used at UCV to harness the power of the steam engine to the gearing of Bellamy's Mill machinery, came from England, it was 120 feet long 12" wide and 2 ply riveted together--the sections of leather that made up the belt was feathered out and glued--it was put into use 24 years ago and is still in excellent shape yet-our procedure was to soak it well once a year with neetsfoot oil to keep it plyable and preserve it.

as a fleeting mention, I give you an A plus for being able to square a 20 foot white pine in 4 hours, you got to be in great shape, are you using the chainsaw to score --that would sure help

In my book using only axes, that would have been 8 hours of hard work, not many knots either!!, and a few watery blisters to deal with

keep up the good work

NH

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#33700 - 05/29/16 12:58 PM Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: northern hewer]
D_McBride Offline
Member

Registered: 08/29/15
Posts: 11
Hello Richard, you've got to remember, I'm not SQUARING timbers, I am hewing cabin logs. I only hew them on two sides. The top and bottom of a cabin log is left rounded, that's traditional here in Appalachia.

I've seen a few log homes built with squared logs, most of them constructed with half lap joints rather than dovetail or steeple notching. They were all sided over soon after construction, I think that was the intent of the builders.

In my research of the history of log construction here in southern Ohio, it seems like many, not all but many, of log homes so constructed were built by German Catholic immigrants. I don't know if this is a cultural thing or not. We Scots-Irish didn't have a tradition of log construction, but we took to it quickly. We hewed the logs on two side, leaving the top and bottom of the log rounded. It helped fill the space in between the logs. To further fill the space, chunks of log, splits from the hewing, anything was shoved in between the logs to fill space. That was the chinking. That was all daubed over with clay or lime mortar.

As a quick aside, I have found small little handprints in the lower rounds of daubing on log walls, the children doing their part to construct their home. It always makes me pause and think. Small children, now long dead, working on the same structure I am. That makes me think of one log home, little handprints in the clay and hog hair daubing, constructed by Swiss immigrants before the Civil War. A family named Stalder. They built the finest log home I ever saw. Hewn on two sides, half dovetail notched, doweled and pegged like nothing I ever saw.

Timber frame lean to on the back and timber frame porch in the front, all hewn squared timbers in the framing. Tapered hewn rafters, half lapped and pegged. The people that built that home were craftsmen. I'm just a scots-irish wood whacker in comparison. But I can hew a log, 20' long, on TWO sides in four hours. I'm not a superman, I prefer to take an overnight break between the roughing out and the finishing.

I started out using a chainsaw to score, but I discontinued that after a while. I'd rather just walk down the log, scoring every 6-8" with the axe as I go. I'm not cutting a V-notch all the way to the line, I'm just cutting with the axe, moving along and scoring in the direction I will hew.

No blisters anymore, I'm pretty used to it now. Deer flies tormenting me something fierce right now, wish I could get used to them.

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#33713 - 06/04/16 10:00 PM Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: northern hewer]
northern hewer Offline
Member

Registered: 03/17/02
Posts: 1093
hello everyone tonight

Thanks Dave that is a first rate couple of paragraph, I didn't realize that you were only doing 2 sides makes quite difference time wise, and the rough hewing technique--not "V" notching

Richard

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#33905 - 08/11/16 10:00 PM Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: northern hewer]
northern hewer Offline
Member

Registered: 03/17/02
Posts: 1093
hello everyone tonight

Well been recovering here, but checking in on my site regularly

there sure has been many good discussions since I first logged on a few moons ago many wonderful posts by many very knowledgeable people, I hope that the information posted here both by myself and those that took the time to post will be helpful to those that need good direction

I have been helped by many since I first started out in life, but I have to thank my dad who guided me along early in my life, it was he that instilled in me the love of hewn timber, and traditional timber framing techniques--a little hard to deal with as a teenager but sure paid off in the long run for sure

Most of us really who are successful need a good mate and I sure am blessed with mine, a chance meeting one Saturday night, that has now lasted for over fifty years and counting

If any one wishes to open up a dialogue on any subject I am open for the invitation--good luck to all of you in your endeavours--and may the TTRAG continue to inspire many of you to pursue your dreams

The Northern Hewer
Richard Casselman

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#33908 - 08/12/16 11:09 AM Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: northern hewer]
D Wagstaff Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/12
Posts: 244
Thanks for all your efforts Richard. It was your site that lured me into this site some years back now when things were a little more jumping here. I never can pass on the chance at a good wag, as they say down there in the outback, about using an axe in carpentry work. You have been a unique contributor along the lines I like and there won't soon be another quite the same I, dare say.

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#33909 - 08/12/16 01:53 PM Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: northern hewer]
northern hewer Offline
Member

Registered: 03/17/02
Posts: 1093
Hi Don

Thanks for all your remarks,

I am sure that many enjoyed your comraderie and your free will contributions to this thread

I am sort of losing track of many of you that I have came in contact with throughout the last few year's discussions, but I know you are out there and coming to visit from time to time

I am not feeling well about developments here concerning the closure of my Lutheran church (St Paul's in Morrisburg Ontario)--I did all I could to save it--it is the 4th oldest Protestant church in Canada--founded in 1875--The 2nd oldest is now closed, and it is only a few miles East of Morrisburg at Riverside
Heights--known as St John's --it was founded in 1784

You know what they say --"all good things come to an end"--

Well I have to go now

Richard--NH----------

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#33972 - 09/16/16 09:52 PM Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: northern hewer]
northern hewer Offline
Member

Registered: 03/17/02
Posts: 1093
hello everyone tonight

well it seems like I have a lot of unfinished business on some of the threads but I will get around to continuing conversation in regards to some of them--right now I am working on a new broad axe handle, for a leftie by the way, he wants it made out of black walnut, had to make a trip out to the tree on the back forty,--- it has some great curvy limbs growing out from the trunk--ideal for a handle needing a strong natural curve right next to the head

He also wants a copy of the axe handle making video that I sell from time to time, it shows the tree that I am referring to above, and then it goes into video detail showing the hands on work as the handle takes shape

He also wants a copy of my Traditional Hewing tape that shows me working, talking and explaining how to use it in a correct and safe manner.. It seems that he wants to try his hand at creating a couple of hewn timbers for his new home, I feel excited about helping him move ahead with his venture

This is a subject with many different and objectional points of view my focus is as always backed up with research that goes with pioneer life here in upper Canada in the early days of settlement. I might say that the pioneers who came here were from a wide spectrum of immigrants from Europe, and that alone speaks a lot about the tools that were saved and donated to UCV as it was formed in the 1960's, as a working museum dedicated to life in the early days.

over the years I have been especially interested in axe handle design, length, sweep, etc. looking at old photographs, and examining existing examples at UCV still solidly placed in axe heads and in storage in the museum one of which is in the Casselman barn, it houses many of these types of surviving hand tools

Anyway I have to go now like to hear from some of you

Richard casselman

NH

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#33976 - 09/17/16 07:20 AM Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: northern hewer]
D Wagstaff Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/12
Posts: 244
If I knew that lefty I would sell him my recently re-steeled, by the expert tool smid out of France, Bernard Lucas. Some nice Uddeholm steel forge welded on the traditional hewing axe of southern Sweden with its original birch handle beautifully mounted which I have thinned down the way I like it so much. There is little to no finish work on the back saving so much time and effort at the lapping plate, simply hone and go.


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#33982 - 09/17/16 08:28 PM Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: northern hewer]
northern hewer Offline
Member

Registered: 03/17/02
Posts: 1093
hello everyone tonight

That is a lovely looking blade, but just wondering why you would add a modern tool steel inset to an axe that must have had already a top notch cutting edge, it just doesn't seem right to me, but there must have been a reason

Thanks for coming onboard and looking forward to more conversation

Richard

NH

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#33987 - 09/18/16 02:28 PM Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: northern hewer]
Cecile en Don Wa Offline
Member

Registered: 08/08/09
Posts: 259
Loc: the Netherlands
I thought I had brought this up before now and it turns out I had, back on page 110 of our conversation where I had posted op a series of pictures of a single final pass made on a stem of sweet chestnut with this axe with the edge reconditioned just after getting my grubby hands on it from out of Sweden. The edge was shot, either completely worn down or having lost its tempering. The smid had a good look at it and with the expert eye determined the steel there had only the potential for a moderate hardness were it to be re-tempered so I decided to have it re-steeled with a suitable steel, the Uddeholm with high carbon content but without the other metal additions which interfere with the sharpening potential.
It's not the only work Bernard has carried out for me on old axes. At the same time he took the peculiar axe known to the locals here as "bandhacke" only this one's a single beveled version and reconditioned it, keeping the original steel bit which turned out being damast steel bizarrely, so that was an unexpected revelation, which you see here below.

all this work not before he had already done another favored bandhack, this time replacing the worthless bit with one of exceptional quality because in that instance not only did he use this same high carbon content Swedish steel for the insert but incased it with unused one hundred year-old axel stock with a beautiful grain pattern visible to the trained eye. Well this axe needles to say is most treasured and a tool also of the highest quality in use and has transformed my whole approach to getting the logs squared up.
_________________________
https://axework.wordpress.com

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