Hello all;

I have little experience hewing so I have some questions.

1. Were adzs actually used to smooth timbers? I occasionally read books which refer to how timbers were converted using a broad ax and then smoothed with an adz. However, all hewing marks I have ever looked at have an arc to the signature. I do not know how to swing an adz with a sideways arc so I presume all smoothing of the timbers was done with an axe. Here is a nice example from about 200 years ago in Maine.


2. What are large bladed broad axes used for. In most of the signatures I have seen the cutting edge of the axe was around six inches long. I have seen much larger axes.

3. Hewing marks are always scalloped telling me the cutting edge was beveled. What are the axes with one flat side used for?

I reciently learned that just one axe company in the early 20th century was producing 300 different types of axe heads. There were certainly a large number of very specialized uses of axes.

Just for fun, below is a a photo of an elegant square rule joint. In my thinking the post was hewn with an axe and the joint relieved with an adz. The girt was cut out decades ago.


Just one more photo. Here is a double gunstock post. I cheated by starting with a 10 x 14 and hewed the lower gunstock just to carry the girt in a barn repair. I am not aware of double gunstock posts being used in barns but there is precident in house frames in Connecticut.



The closer you look the more you see.
"Heavy timber framing is not a lost art" Fred Hodgson, 1909