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Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: northern hewer] #15585 05/27/08 01:39 PM
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Jim Rogers Offline
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I have attended a Jack Sobon workshop taught at the Shaker Village in Hancock, MA. And I speak to him at least several times a year, on my travels to the western side of our state.

Part of his personal history is that he worked for Richard Babcock of Williamstown, MA for many years while going to college for architecture. Richard Babcock has written several books most of which are self published, so the only way you can get one is to buy it from him. I had the opportunity to listen to Richard Babcock speak at a guild conference once. At that time I bought a book from him.

His business was to take apart frame of barns and houses, repair and re-erect these frames. Sometimes for private clients, sometimes for historic associations and/or groups. Lots of these were done in MA and up and down the Hudson River valley of NY.

When you read Jack Sobon's book of Historic Joinery you'll see in the notes where the joint was found. That is what size and type the building it was used in, and it's geographical location in the States. It is possible that lots of these joints where found as he worked for Richard, as a young man.

Jim Rogers


Whatever you do, have fun doing it!
Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: Housewright] #15587 05/27/08 05:03 PM
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It should be noted that Historic American Joinery and the pending steeple publication (as well as others) are Guild projects conceived, refined and run by the excellent Will Beemer.

He writes the grants to the National Park Service (every two years).

He assembles the team (Jack Sobon, Ed levin, Ken Rower and Jan Lewandoski), and begins the long process of publication, in cahoots with Ken Rower.

Finally shepherding the resulting articles into a monograph, usually with additional commentary not appearing in the original publications (in Timber Framing).

Guild members and TF Subscribers get to see this stuff long before the general public - just in case we got something terribly wrong.

Most of this material is now available for free download from the TFG website. Links are on the bottom of the homepage. Also for sale in analog format on the TFG webstore, and through the granting agency, the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training. (A cool bunch of folks who write training materials for NPS employees - the NPS is the nation's landlord of historic structures; we're proud to have been recognized by them as experts in our particular and peculiar field.)

So hats off to Will Beemer from bringing a great idea to life and keeping it going, to the team for doing all the work, and to the National Park Service for paying the bills.

-Joel McC


Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: Joel McCarty] #15593 05/27/08 11:23 PM
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Jim Rogers Offline
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I'll second that.....


Whatever you do, have fun doing it!
Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: Jim Rogers] #15598 05/28/08 01:15 AM
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northern hewer Offline OP
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Hi everyone tonite

thanks Jim and Joel for the replies and more background material on Jack Sobon, and Will Beemer--- you know the old saying behind every good man there is a great-----------

I'll also second that....

NH


Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: northern hewer] #15634 05/30/08 01:32 PM
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dave felshaw Offline
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Question! My Great-great Grandfather was awarded a contract to "frame and counter hew" a grain mill for a $1.77 1/2 cents per 10 square. I understand frame, but what is counter hew?

Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: dave felshaw] #15643 05/30/08 03:38 PM
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Gabel Offline
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Originally Posted By: dave felshaw
Question! My Great-great Grandfather was awarded a contract to "frame and counter hew" a grain mill for a $1.77 1/2 cents per 10 square. I understand frame, but what is counter hew?


Dave,

I've seen the term "counter-hew" only once before -- in the book Light and Heavy Timber Framing Made Easy (FT Hodgson, 1909). Here is a link.

http://books.google.com/books?id=kkk1AAAAMAAJ&pg=PA172&lpg=PA172&dq=%22counter+hew%22&source=web&ots=c4wtiUOI6W&sig=HF_TvsK5J1eQp7aU0POr9DIho44&hl=en


This term means the process of "re" hewing timbers as part of the layout/cutting process to make the timbers closer to square and closer to dimension. It is done when laying out by the square rule on hewn material. When you snap your layout lines (at say 2" from the edge), there will be places that due to irregularities in the hewing will stick out more than 2" from the layout line. Counter hewing is the process of hewing off the places that are "proud" of the theoretical edge.

This can be done just at the joints or on the whole stick. If it is done just at the joints then at the tenons, it is basically reducing both sides of a tenon.

I think this would have been an important part of the process when a carpenter was using timbers that were supplied (or hewn) by the farmer/owner, which in my understanding, was fairly common.
(We all know what it is like to follow someone else's work.)

Now, you've got to tell us more about the contract! Where, when, what, how big, how much, did it include the raising or just framing/counterhewing?

Could you scan it and post a link? or pictures?

I would love to know more!


GH

Last edited by Gabel; 05/30/08 03:39 PM.
Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: Gabel] #15659 05/31/08 01:06 AM
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northern hewer Offline OP
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Hi everyone:

Thanks for coming on board with a bit of your family history Dave.

The "Counter Hewing" question replied to by Gabel Is well answered. The reference that I have seen is in an 1865 book written by William E Bell entitled "Carpentry Made Easy"

In it he refers to Counter hewing a timber that has a heavy wind (twist), and he in particular mentions doing only 2 sides (the reference sides) ie; outside and upper side say of a plate.

NH

Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: northern hewer] #15826 06/10/08 01:32 AM
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northern hewer Offline OP
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Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: northern hewer] #15827 06/10/08 01:42 AM
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northern hewer Offline OP
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Hi everyone I am sorry for being away but I had business to attend to.

This photo is of 2 of my best friends and co workers, they worked together as a pair on heavy hewing projects, we had altogether 3 pairs that worked and filled in on each other's days off.

Earl and Donny could work on very hot days for 6 to 7 hours, you will notice the historical heavy clothing that they wore, unbelievable as it may seem it seemed to shelter them from the heat of the day. I wore similar clothing and I can honestly say that I seemed to be cooler than the general public approaching the work areas with their modern attire. I used to feel sorry for them with their burnt areas.

Well anyway I hope you enjoy this scene it is as accurate as one could possibly make it.

You will notice that work progressed along with two men because one could rest and interpret while the other focused his attention ot the work at hand. It is almost impossible to work and talk and keep focused on what you are doing if you are alone, it becomes very unsafe also.

NH

Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: northern hewer] #15832 06/10/08 02:52 AM
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Waccabuc Offline
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Can't see a picture, and I want to see these guys stylin' with axes and the gear!!
Steve


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