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Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: Mark Davidson] #23036 03/13/10 01:38 AM
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TIMBEAL Offline
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I would be lost without my mill......a couple more pennies. I don't charge by the hour. I also don't directly try to make a living with just the mill.

Keep it as small scale as you can or go for the big times, I think the middle ground is the toughest area to reside in.

Ken, I don't live in your environment, but I do offer it as a serious consideration.

Tim

Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: TIMBEAL] #23038 03/13/10 09:36 AM
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Ken Hume Offline
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Hi Tim, Mark & Richard,

I do recall that someone asked Jack Sobon the easiest way to hew logs and Jack's answer was to pay someone else $10/hr to do this for you.

On a more serious note Jack's argument might still hold true even if the $/hr has changed more than just a bit. A tree standing in the woodland is really worth nothing until one starts to invest time and money into its transformation into a finished woodland product (felling / conversion/ extraction). Hence if the cost of the log is discounted and the cost of hewing becomes the main investment to produce a finished beam then adopting this method would also potentially help to reduce extraction costs and so maybe this approach might still hold true today on a small, local, sustainable economy basis.

Regards

Ken Hume


Looking back to see the way ahead !
Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: Ken Hume] #23039 03/13/10 11:14 AM
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TIMBEAL Offline
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Ken, Jacks hewing suggestion rest in the length of the timber, long stock was more economical to hew than saw if it was 18' or longer, and a 8x8 and up.

Around here most folks have ATVs to recreate with. They also can be used to extract timber with by adding an arch which is towed behind. There is other small scale logging equipment available but it is cost prohibitive.

If you are going to use human power to hew than a logical next would be animal power, if it is available.

Tim

Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: Ken Hume] #23051 03/15/10 12:08 AM
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northern hewer Offline OP
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Hello everyone tonight:

Just to expand this topic out a little lets do a hypothetical problem that needs solving,

Person "a" needs a 10"square hewn log 25 feet long out of white ash

Person "a" has the standing tree that fills the bill in his bushlot

He has the ability to cut and haul out the tree with a minimal investment using his saw that he cuts his firewood with and a good heavy team of work horses just waiting to get a little exercise.

Now the tree is out in the open area ready to begin its reduction into a hewn timber.

From my experience the first side will take the best part of 6 hours to flatten, the second side will take 5 hours, and the other 2 sides will take 3 and 2 hours respectfully.

This makes a total of 16 hours which is I believe a realistic timeframe for a tree of this size and length, would anyone like to comment on this time analysis please feel free to do so.

I suspect that you will have to pay more than minimum wages for this type of skilled worker, so in this regard I would say at least $25 hr. or $400.00 for wages to hew the timber.

My question to you all would it be advantageous to precut the timber oversize and hew the final finish, and how much of a savings could be realized, or would it cost more in the end

NH

Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: northern hewer] #23053 03/15/10 02:41 AM
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Mark Davidson Offline
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I would charge .35/bd.ft to mill white ash
so,
10x10x25/12=208 board feet @ .35 = $72.80

If you leave it slightly oversized and hew 1/4, I think you would be more like 1 hr per side, or approx $100 to hew.
PLUS you would have the white ash side cuts, worth possibly enough to pay for the sawmill and the hewer.
AND the hewer might also give you a hearty thanks, after all we are talking white ash here...

Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: Mark Davidson] #23055 03/15/10 12:26 PM
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TIMBEAL Offline
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I see this in two different avenues.

First If you don't have a saw mill and want a timber then you will throw the extra boarding and price / bf out the window, that is not the goal, the timber is and how do you achieve that by the simplest means, I should say lowest cost? You already have the timber, no cost there. No cash outlay.

The second is along Marks lay lines, I would have to add the cost of the log into the equation though. The butt end of the log would fetch a higher price so why use it as a timber at all. So, you would have to be brave and stick $1.00/bf to it, there is $208 before you even start. Hewing may take some practice but I don't see you having to pay $25, I would put $10-15 on it, I will go the low road=$160 for a cost of $368. Now feed the horse, I round the total to $400. I don't buy hard wood timber does anyone know the going price for ash timber?

In addition why even hew it after it is sawn? Doing that has always.. not done much for me. You can tell when it was sawn and then hewn, there is that extra bit of perfection that doesn't quite make it actual.

You would only be adding to the cost of the timber by hewing it after it was sawn. Why would you do that? It would cost more in the end.

I would not saw a 25' timber exchanged for the edgings. Flat grain, sappy, short, tapered, narrow boards.....and hew a finish it on top of that?

Tim


Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: TIMBEAL] #23059 03/16/10 01:33 AM
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Mark Davidson Offline
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I don't mind hewing on a sawn surface, I think the key to getting it to look "right" is in the scoring.

going price for ash around here is probably 1.00-1.50 bd/ft.

I wouldn't hew for 15/hr unless it was my own stuff.

The outside cuts on a bigger ash log are good stuff in my books, they will cup, but just use them in narrow widths, good handle wood... should be clear of knots.

btw, I think your time analysis on hewing a big ash from the round is pretty good. I had to hew a bunch of 24 ft 6x12 oak joists from the round some years ago, and the time was quite similar. Such a relief to get around to that last side on the big hardwoods.

Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: TIMBEAL] #23061 03/16/10 01:58 AM
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northern hewer Offline OP
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Hi everyone tonight:

It really isn't that simple is it many things go into the final answer.

Truly I think that you both are right looking at it from each perspective, and some of the answers in life are very similar but not simple at times to figure out.

I did specify that the final timber had to have a hand hewn surface, so in the final analysis the cost would have to reflect the cost of putting that finish on the timber.

You are very right Timbeal the timber will look unnaturally true and square when sawn and then a hewn finish applied, I have had to wrestle with such senarios throughout my career in the restoration field.

Listening at times to many talk about producing frames for customers I suspect the short cut has been taken many times for cost's sake, but for true work nothing beats the fully hewn timber which gives that unmistaken look that carries the little flaws, twists, and uneven measurements.

When you really examine the input from both of you guys there really isn't much difference in cost, there is alot of difference in the amount of work, and for my money I will go the way of fully hewing the timber, laying it up to cure shielding it from unaturally drying currents of air and the sun of course.

Around here you cannot obtain someone that wants or is able to swing an axe easily, not impossible, but it will cost more than minimum wages which is $11 \hr, maybe $20/hr would attract someone to do alittle physical work

Thanks for coming on board both of you that is what makes this chat room special, and maybe informative for those looking in.

NH

Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: northern hewer] #23071 03/16/10 10:50 PM
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Mark Davidson Offline
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I wish I was a little closer to your location NH, I would come over and do some 20/hr hewing......

Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: Mark Davidson] #23108 03/21/10 01:34 AM
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northern hewer Offline OP
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hello everyone tonight:

For a new line of thought in regards to learning an old craft, I would like to look at how many of us acquired the skills that enabled us to use the historic Broadaxe and of course the other many points of necessary skills like setting up and lining prior to hewing.

For starters I was fortunate to have been taught by my father, who in turn had been taught by his father who had actually lived and grew up at the time that hewing was needed to construct timberframed buildings. I was taught of course to use the style that my family used, and many other aspects that went along with the hewing process, I related in previous postings that I also had the opportunity to research my hewing methods as a backup to presenting it in as true a fashion as possible to the general public for a period of approx 30 years.


I realize that this is very seldom the case and many that now hew acquired the historic methods in many ways very much unlike the way that I did.

I would like to take this opportunity to ask those that have these special skills to come on board and let those that want dearly to learn to Hew timber and use their Broadaxe an insight into a way of acquiring these skills.

How many of you out there just learned by trial and error?
How many studied and researched before attempting to Hew?
How many took an historic course before embarking out with your axe?
How many like myself had the family background training to help them along?
NH







I was just wondering

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