I’d been meaning to plug into your thread for some while now, and hope you don’t mind my doing so, despite your having officially called it done.
This particular call for action caught my eye in a quick fly by, when you posted it and I wanted to speak to it despite the delay.
I know of a few historic images of folks hewing high, both are Continental, one medieval, one early Twentieth Century. The latter is a photo of two men engaged in the two man scoring technique I often use and which I believe I’d alluded to in an earlier hewing thread, it can be found in - The Craft of Log Building - A Handbook of Craftsmanship in Wood - by Hermann Phelps – The former is an image represented in a stained glass window in Chartres Cathredral, it also shows two men hewing, one on either side of the same waist high log. I do have a post card of this panel stowed somewhere too safe to find.
I hew high, and couldn’t do otherwise if I wanted to, my back would object too loudly to ignore. I suspect, then as now, pain and the need to avoid it, would have driven some people to do the same, perhaps even counter to what were considered the norms to their locale.
I also hew left handed, though with the ax on my left, what most consider rightie, though in my case my left hand is forward. My earliest hewing experiences were solo self teaching exercises, like hewing high, I simply did what felt natural. In everything I do my workpiece is on my left, adjacent to my dominant hand. I also suspect doing what felt natural was as common in the past. As supposed left handed axes are found in numbers far greater than the percentage of the population which is lefthanded, this is especially evident in axes with offset polls such as Goosewings.
Anyway, thanks for the thread, and for the opportunity to pipe in.
"We build too many walls and not enough bridges" - Isaac Newton