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#34310 - 12/21/17 01:43 PM Re: historic hewing questionnaire ***** [Re: northern hewer]
Dave Shepard Offline
Member

Registered: 02/19/06
Posts: 714
Loc: Alford, MA
Excellent demonstration of adze use. Not sure what was going on with the second video, I only got sound when I played it, but that may have just been a glitch on my end.
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Member, Timber Framers Guild

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#34311 - 12/22/17 01:48 PM Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: northern hewer]
TIMBEAL Offline
Member

Registered: 12/10/07
Posts: 1878
Loc: Maine
Dave, I was cutting some laps on the ends of clabboard siding. You don't really need the sound, very aluminum sounding on that staging.

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#34312 - 12/23/17 09:35 PM Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: northern hewer]
northern hewer Offline
Member

Registered: 03/17/02
Posts: 1121
Hello everyone tonight

Real Christmas weather here, would have been welcomed in the days gone by, l was just telling my great grand children about winters of long ago here in the country, it is hard for them to grasp how it was then, no tv, no cell phones, no electricity, no snow plows, hardly anything for Christmas .

Really there was no money and to tell the truth none was needed, we hunkered down, no bills coming in nothing needed paying, we lived out of the cellar, and we lived well and healthy, potatoes, meat frozen solid by the cold hanging in the drive shed, preserves from the cellar, we walked to school, and then home

Speaking of school then, it was a one room building with eight grades, a big pot bellied stove at the rear, when I went many moons ago there was only six children going, the teacher bless her heart will never be forgotten a wonderful soul

The Christmas concerts were special affairs the blackboards were decorated with coloured chalk the images were usually rural life, sleighs, horses, dogs, farm Animals, children skating on ponds, and you know that is exactly what life consisted of then

One experience I remember vividly was how the fields flooded and then froze solid meaning you could go for miles and gather up the other neighbourhood kids of all ages, the older ones looking out for the younger ones, everyone,s house was open for warming up if needed, one time in particular we ended up in a flooded low lying bushed area the trees spaced so that we could circle around in the light of lanterns hung strategically , what a wonderful time, so much healthier than today

But I must say I am enjoying central heating now along with running water hot and cold, and I must say the Internet which I am now using to be with you guys and gals, you all are wonderful, and you know we cannot turn time back but we can remember, I en joy sharing my remembrances and experiences with y'all ,

I realize there are many parts of the world that needs help, I hope that peace comes, but probably won't for many, but I do pray for that to happen

Well I have to go but before I do merry Christmas to everyone and may next year bring happiness and may you get back at your many projects whether they be historical or otherwise, and don't forget to try and help someone who needs it

Nh richard

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#34337 - 01/25/18 10:01 PM Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: northern hewer]
northern hewer Offline
Member

Registered: 03/17/02
Posts: 1121
hello everyone tonight

well I made it through Christmas, into a new year and new adventures, and probably a few new projects to boot-

Mr Barclay picked up his broadaxe a few days ago, complete with a new wild cherry offset handle, it came out real nice I think, I finished the surface using broken glass as a smoother, he was amazed at the texture of the surface, and I suggest that it is one technique that you might try if you get the opportunity and the right project to boot.

The handle was created from a naturally crooked limb, and i split it from a section a few inches longer than I needed, in this case 36 inches, and about 12 inches in diameter, allowing me enough room to avoid the centre.

The split was done quickly using 6 old axe heads, inserted stategically along the split as it progressed

the rough blank that eventually emerged was approx 3 thick and 4 inches wide, and exhibited the unmistaken curve just about 6 inches from the end

One thing that you need to ascertain before starting to shape the handle is if he or she is right or left handed, when they are using an axe not a pencil, sometimes a right handed person will chop left handed eventhough they write right. Sometimes people can comfortably chop either right or left

Well most everyone can shape the handle , but be careful not to put too much or not enough curve, i suggest 3 inches off the flat of the blade, and the finished length should be about 29 inches overall

well got to go

richard
NH

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#34338 - 01/25/18 11:20 PM Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: northern hewer]
NickM Offline
Member

Registered: 01/23/18
Posts: 7
Loc: Strasburg, VA
Northern Hewer, you are indeed a treasure. This is my first post in this forum, and I just wanted to say that your description of the Christmas of yesteryear strikes home. Though I am much younger than you, I had the occasion to pass by an older friends' house this evening. Bruce and his wife are about 80. They, along with others with whom I have spoken, paint a picture of the Winters of their youth similar to your own. They are living in a cabin with their Christmas tree still up because they love the season so much.

As an aside, nothing brightens a cabin so much as a Christmas tree. (In my opinion), which is why I plan on building one with reclaimed hewn logs.

Thank you for the tip on the axe handle. I have several axe heads and other rescued tools that require my attention. I am looking forward to getting to them and also to reading yours and others posts.

Cheers!


Edited by NickM (01/25/18 11:20 PM)

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#34339 - 01/26/18 08:34 AM Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: northern hewer]
northern hewer Offline
Member

Registered: 03/17/02
Posts: 1121
Hi Nick

It is a pleasure to read your post, and to know that there are those that enjoy my posts, I know that you will be successful in your ventures, and someday your youth will be enjoyed by those around you

If you need any further help I will be glad to be there in that regard

Richard
NH

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#34340 - 01/26/18 03:46 PM Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: northern hewer]
NickM Offline
Member

Registered: 01/23/18
Posts: 7
Loc: Strasburg, VA
Thanks Richard!

It's been great and informative reading through some of the older threads. After long thinking about it, I finally got my first taste of timber framing recently, and have been bitten by the bug to do this hard.

I just know I want to keep doing it and not stop--a familiar story, I am sure, around here!

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#34341 - 01/27/18 10:56 AM Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: northern hewer]
northern hewer Offline
Member

Registered: 03/17/02
Posts: 1121
hello everyone tonight

I just thought that I might expand out on handling axes in general because of nick`s mention of the several axe heads that he has that require his attention

creating a unique handle used to be handed down from generation to generation in the form of a handle pattern usually stored on a flat board, that would hang in a safe spot somewhere on the farm or premises

this pattern would accurately portray the sweep of the body of the handle, this is usually the part extending from the flat area entering the head to just before where the handle curves sharply down at the opposite end to create a comfortable grasping point for either the right or left hand depending on one`s swinging preferance.

The final touch to the handle would be the carved head on the handle`s end, this is sometimes referred to as a `fawn foot`
or `knob`, many variations have survived, and usually are saved so it can be reproduced accurately.

The sweep of the handle, and the final turning down at the upper hand grasping area, are very important, and when one has used a particular handle style for a number of years, and something happens to require a re handling to take place creating a new one with as similar curves and lengths, and I might say feel,like size of the grasping areas,to include how your hand and fingers feel as you grasp it to begin work

We always created a handle in our spare time, like winter, and laid it away to cure and be ready to go in case an accident happens right during a very busy wood harvesting season
or in the spring when the fire wood is being split and stored.
this final time is a very dangerous time and many handles were sadly cracked or worn away near the axe head.

Introducing a new member of the growing family into wood harvesting was another dangerous time for axe handles due to over strikes and other learning curves

I hope this helps those that are endeavouring to create their own unique handles, I have yet to see a good modern handle that can fill the need of a dedicated woods man

I created some instructional video a few years ago for a gentleman in Montreal who had broke his family`s hewing axe`s handle and was desperate for help to create a new one.

A handle for a hewing axe is definitely more challenging and I worked with him using instructions from afar ěn the form of a video, the whole episode came out well and I was pleased

enjoy



Richard
NH

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#34343 - 01/27/18 11:32 AM Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: northern hewer]
northern hewer Offline
Member

Registered: 03/17/02
Posts: 1121
hello everyone tonight

I just might mention that I do help, and have enjoyed helping many over the years repaired axes as well as their other treasured tools as well as learn the old crafts, that need special skills.

I realize that there are many out there who are also quite accomplished in this field, I take my hat off to them, and I enjoy their posts

My skills have originated from 3 generations of very skilled woodworkers in my family, some of who worked in the upper Ottawa Valley logging camps, and the traditions have been handed down from generation to generation

I have further information in the tools for sale`topic if you care to visit it

enjoy

NH

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#34344 - 01/28/18 05:22 AM Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: northern hewer]
D Wagstaff Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/12
Posts: 262
Recently I re-handled my broadaxe from a piece of wood handed off to me - mistake No. 1. In the end what I got was useless because these angles were off or maybe just not suited to my way of work. You see how the line of this grip is more or less parallel to the edge, when what is needed (yellow indication) is the handle that opens up the angle between edge and grip by 5 or 6 °.

On the other hand the off-set came out pretty much how I like it, which is to say, a minimal of curving and just the right point of articulation at the knuckle.



Of course this is an axe of a different order than that Richard and his Canadian colleagues were using.


Edited by D Wagstaff (01/28/18 05:24 AM)

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