don't people adze between their feet? how would you hit your legs?
i actually feel more comfortable hewing from above than the side- the thing is if the axe glances it moves away from you. standing beside it's coming towards your thigh. the danger is toes with narrow widths. but as per the barefoot japanese hewer (i think it's earlier in this thread -massive and still good!) with a decent size timber it's easy to tuck your toes in. no real danger in dabbing off the log if the worksite is clear.
yes Don- to my understanding toothis was the way that railway ties got done up here. it's about getting it done- i love non-standardized methods. so many ways.