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#8352 - 01/17/02 08:40 PM Re: Hewing....
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hello Will:
I am quite interested in your style of Nordic Hewing, and would appreciate alittle more info such as; how high you place your hewing logs, and how you hold them from shifting around. You mentioned that on long logs you would hew opposite sides, and then work the remaining two sides--as you move from side to side how do you ensure that the log soes not shift, remembering that at this stage the log is still round on the bottom and top. It is interesting that you worked in teams, we did too when the manpower was around, especially during framing events, and the work had to proceed on schedule, and this usually was made up of a hewer, and a scorer- one rested while the other worked. Did you hew one team on each side ie: 4 people at a time?, and did you all use safety equipment?. It interests me in knowing how long the broadaxe handles are that you and your partners use?
I use a 26", that is from the end of the handle to the outside of the head. Many variations of lengths I know were used from the hewing axes that we have in storage.
Does anyone else in this forum have input on this particular subject?
the Northern Hewer

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#8353 - 01/18/02 01:11 PM Re: Hewing....
Will Truax Offline
Member

Registered: 05/02/02
Posts: 447
Loc: Center Barnstead NH
The only aspect of my tecqnique that I describe as Nordic is the two man scoreing, once common to the nordic countries and discussed and pictured in Phelps' book on logcrafting, two men work either side of the score notch simultaneously on the verticle face. (far easier and not nearly as dangerous as it sounds) We then go on to juggle within an 1/8th of the line with felling axes from both the ground and atop the log, then hew from there. I'm lefty and am most always partnered with a righty which is convenient as we work from either end and meet in the middle.

Handles about the same length and as far as safty equipment goes, I always make it a point to wear shoes !
_________________________
"We build too many walls and not enough bridges" - Isaac Newton

http://bridgewright.wordpress.com/


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#8354 - 01/18/02 02:45 PM Re: Hewing....
Clark Bremer Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/14/02
Posts: 0
Loc: Minnesota
First, I want to thank Richard, Curtis and Will for the fascinating discussion. I had one question which I haven't seen answered yet: Is any wood actually removed during the scoring process, or does it just leave slits in the log? CB.

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#8355 - 01/18/02 08:36 PM Re: Hewing....
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hello Clark-thanks for the question, and Will thanks for the reply to the Nordic technique, eventhough I have never worked 2 hewers right and left handed on one log I expect that it would progress quite well, and I expect that it did happen, because I have noticed on the finished surfaces of old hewn timber the clear telltale cuts from both right and left handed scorers meeting in the centre of the timber. This also tells me that both right and left handed hewers were at work on the same log. It would have been especially usefull on the large logs that the long heavy framing timbers were fashioned from in times gone by.
Talking about scoring for Clark's question, and remembering this now is just my personal experiences, scoring has one main purpose that is to make it possible to hew or broadaxe timber from a round log in gradual steps. Step #1 would be the rough scoring notches, which are "v"s cut initially from the round side inward to a preset distance from the line on the upper surface. Depending on the the size of the log these "v"s represent alot of physical work and are usually not placed any closer than necessary. Clark you wanted to know if scoring removed any wood the answer is yes a fair amount to create these "v"s, it is surprising how the chips from this process quickly piles up along side of the log, and will involve removal away so as not to interfere with the hewing process which follows the scoring each time. In good straight grained pine the wood between the notches will split off quite easily with a heavy blow from the hewing axe, also adding to the clutter alongside of the log. Still on the subject of scoring for Clark, after the rough scoring and hewing pass is complete, what I call the finish scoring pass then has to be completed, and during this operation no wood is removed, but rather a series of vertical cut marks are placed along the newly hewn surface every 3 to 4" or more depending on the whim of the hewer. NO wood is removed by the finish scoring process, rather emphasis is placed on not scoring too deeply but just deep enough to cut the grain of the wood so hewing can continue.
Enjoy your company!--the Northern Hewer

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#8356 - 01/19/02 02:34 PM Re: Hewing....
Will Truax Offline
Member

Registered: 05/02/02
Posts: 447
Loc: Center Barnstead NH
Ditto- material is removed but we try to keep the V's as narrow as possible with two man, simply to minimize ax blows. this becomes increasingly difficult with the increase in required depth, the score notches grow as you approach the buttress and at some point our V's change to W's so that a chip is ejected with every blow.
This leaves a very distinct blem with over- penetration and I wish to explore frames in geo-locals where two man was practiced with the added interest of finding such a blem.

The distance betwixt notches is maximized and varies from stem to stem after gaging splitibility of the juggles, looking for, say 3 blows max to split off a juggle.

We rough hew with a felling axe after juggling to within that 1/8th and likewise "backscore" trying to barely penetrate the anticipated finished face. It is only at this point that I pick up the broad ax
_________________________
"We build too many walls and not enough bridges" - Isaac Newton

http://bridgewright.wordpress.com/


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#8357 - 01/19/02 09:52 PM Re: Hewing....
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hi all once again:
It seems to me that your style will work probably quite well, and probably was used in many cases where no broadaxe was available, and one had to resort to what ever was on hand. As I have always said there is many ways to do everything, and woodworking is no different. As you look at an historic example of hewn timber, I believe that it is quite possible to evision how much care or technique was put into its manufacture. Close examination of the finished surface will give telltale evidence of the care of the woodworker and his expertise. I expect that most men in "those" days received training under their piers --usually their father, who if anything like mine expected perfection in their son's work. This training was handed down from generation to generation, and sons usually started just as soon as they could hold and swing the weight of an axe. there was always a certain amount of competetiveness and pride in the work as it progressed. I guess what I am trying to say is that the hewers of the days gone by probably had proper training, unlike you and I today who are trying to become selftrained in one way or another, either by experimentation, historical study or observation of old manuscripts or documents. My conversations with many from the "olde countries" tell me that they have also lost the true stlyes of historical woodworking, and are looking to us for some of the answers. Thanks for the continued discussion,
The Northern Hewer

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