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Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: northern hewer] #13417 12/02/07 01:32 AM
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northern hewer Offline OP
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Hi again:

Just to add a few more remarks I was wondering if any of the visitors to this thread who may have visited any of the many museums especially in the New York State or adjacent states had noticed unusual axe styles in their collections?

Thanks for dropping by and hoping to get some feed back for everyones benefit,

NH

Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: northern hewer] #13654 12/30/07 01:10 AM
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northern hewer Offline OP
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Hi everyone again:

This is a question that I see coming up once in a while, and that is sharpening your broadaxe if it is just wood dull or preparing the damaged edge of on that for one reason or another has become nicked.

Lets hear some of your solutions

NH

Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: northern hewer] #13950 01/18/08 02:03 AM
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northern hewer Offline OP
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Hello everyone on this thread:

I was hoping to get more response to the above queries, but manbe the topic is buried too far, but then maybe not I am going to move it forward once again in the main stream to see if anyone has any additional comments.

Many have asked me about tightening up a loose handle I personally use very thin hardwood wedges and gently insurt them in the eye from the outside end. Alittle bit of glue will hold them tight in place.

this will eventually weaken the handle, and it will be necessary to rehang the axe head with a new handle. I have a very good dvd out that explains how to hand carve a new offset handle, and explain what kind of wood to use and where to get it.

Hot dry weather will contribute to the shrinkage of the wood in the head and the problem will intensify during these periods.
Once in a while dipping the head in water for a few minutes will retighten up things , but is only a stop gap measure.

I am open to other comments, and maybe alittle discussion on handles in general

NH

Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: northern hewer] #13954 01/18/08 11:12 AM
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TIMBEAL Offline
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How about soaking the head in a can of oil, the wood absorbs the oil and doesn't evaporate. I have used a spruce root for a off set handle before, the grain all running in the proper direction, no glue, clamping, forms etc. It has serviced well. Tim

Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: TIMBEAL] #13964 01/18/08 07:59 PM
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timber brained Offline
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I have an old broad axe that I picked up on ebay that turns out to not be useable. If looking straight into the blade edge it has a large bow directly in the center of it. I dont know why it is like this but it definitely makes it not a good working axe. It should be flat like a chisel edge , but it is more like a gouge shape as it is now.. Anyone know why this would happen and if there is a way to correct it. I thought about trying to even it out but this would be way too much material to work off. Perhaps it is just one to hang on the wall? tb

Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: timber brained] #13967 01/18/08 09:20 PM
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Gabel Offline
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Actually, TB, the axe should not be flat like a chisel. Looking directly into the cutting edge, it should have a slight belly of 1/8th or so, like a gouge.

In my experience, there's no way to hew cleanly with a perfectly straight edge -- the corners dig no matter what you do.

I've also seen evidence of this in old frames. If you look closely at old hand hewn timbers, you can see that the axes were only cutting a swath a few inches wide with each stroke -- not the full length of the cutting edge.

gabel

Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: Gabel] #13969 01/18/08 09:42 PM
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timber brained Offline
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That is really interesting to know Gabel. I always thought of the broad axe as a large chisel. This might explain why I have had difficulty with traditional technique. I have had great results straddling the log and riving back with hatchet but I have not been able to hew very well with the traditional technique. Why would the face be so wide if they were only cutting with a few inches of the cutting edge? For weight? If for weight why not just put the weight more towards the poll and have the weight vertically on top of the cutting face? many questions? too bad it is a forgotton craft, but then that might be a reason I am so drawn to it. tb

Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: timber brained] #13972 01/19/08 01:54 AM
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northern hewer Offline OP
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Hi TB and others

thanks for once again for adding to the reference material

TB: The wide cutting edge is very necessary in order to hew and cut away wide chunks of material.

Also remember that the wide axe's weight adds to the momentum of the stroke, and will increase the work accomplished, something like a fly wheel on a motor.

The curvature of the blade doesn't mean that you only use the centre part of the blade, this is only noticeable on the final pass along the log's face, and it is at this time that you really need that curvature to do a good job and leave a nice texture to the surface.

As you are hewing, the wide cutting edge is being used to its fullest, for instance if you rough score 12" apart you can clean away easily the 12" width, and you really move along.

NH

Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: northern hewer] #13973 01/19/08 01:59 AM
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Hi Tim:

Nice post about the oil treatment, I have had no experience using oil, it would be nice to hear from anyone that might have used this process though.

The other comment about using a spruce root is a novel idea, one that I have never heard of before, but then you are never too old to learn!!
It certainly would create a tough handle, and no doubt as you say would last well

NH

Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: northern hewer] #13980 01/19/08 10:34 AM
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I have tried the bigger axes and find them to much to handle, I prefer a 7" blade, single bevel, with a off set handle. I converted it from a "kent" style head with a flat blade I put a curve in it, a compound curve. It had a tapered screw wedge that I reused. NH have you seen one of those before? Its the only one I have seen and works great, just a slotted screwdriver to remove the screw/wedge. Tim

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