Well great remarks Toivo: butI am slightly confused, do you mean that you hew standing on top of the log and glancing the axe on the vertical surface working along your feet? This I am sure is not for everyone to try, and if they do extreme care is needed and I think that you will agree.
The old manuscript(s) that I have studied show clearly the hewer working alongside the timber and hewing downward across the grain, this does not mean that this is for sure the only way but I was trained to accept what history has recorded to be factual.
The far East methods of squaring timber is another thing of course, with different tools, and different historical training. As we are trained in our historical ways they also were and proudly so!!
The Historic structures that I reconstructed over 30 years were studied pretty closely for scoring and hewing marks for as close a reproducton as was possible. Of course these buildings did originate and were built by German, Dutch, English, Irish, Swedish, and maybe a few other nationalities thrown in. To create the same telltale marks on the surfaces for future generations to study we had to hew in this methodical way.
In most cases The permanent homes and churches were constructed with the most precision work, while the barns and outbuildings along with other types of outstructures were more crudely done, but none the less at times a temendous amount of finish was applied to the surfaces of these timbers. The large anchor beams of the Dutch Barns exhibit extraordinary smooth finishes no doubt an adze finish in many cases.
I always hewed with the timber about 6" off the ground on good solid sills partly buried in the ground. This created a base that could easily be passed over as the hewing progressed along the timber, and would disappear as the chips accumulated.
Keep the chat rolling in I am sure that there is more to tell