I realize that not many person(s) in general will hew at any great rate but What I am interested in is to preserve the technique as best I can for future generations of interpreters, and those that wish to master the use of this great historic tool.
I did hew daily up into my fifties mainly because I was hardened to it, and one day led to another and so on. Another factor was at least in my case, we interpreted historic reconstruction of period buildings, and this was done from may to October, right through the hottest months. Some days when the temp reached into the 90's you knew that this surely was not a job that would have been historically done at that time.
One thing that I am almost certain of and as you reflect on it, is that the hewing or broadaxing even by the veterans of years gone by was a seasonal chore being done in the cooler weather like fall, winter or spring, not during the cropping season, or real hot days, I believe they were too smart for that.
The hot weather also played foul with the freshly hewn surfaces and special care had to be exercised to shield them from the hot sun's rays.
There is quite an interest in learning the technique of hewing across the land, and as I look back on the students that I had over the years middle aged men were the main grist of the pack. No young men as I recall it.
Now when it came to hewing and really meaning business like meetng a deadline I had to recruit and train younger men that could sweat and din't mind getting a few callouses on their paws. Once you passed a certain point with them there was no turning back, and I got to say that at the end of a busy season they began to look like a seasoned pro, which as far as I was concerned they were. These boys were hewing under harsher conditons that I am sure their fore fathers did.
Now before I leave for tonight I do know for certain that in the logging camps especially on the west coast hewing did carry on year around, hewing railway ties especially was year around, so here again in my area hewing no doubt was seasonal whereas in other areas is was strictly a job with a dollr figure attached.