Thanks to you guys for relating how you acquired your techniques, I am sure that many looking in are enjoying the chat.
I for one have never tried the hip height technique, with the short handled broadaxe, but I enjoy watching and looking at the photos above.
Dave: I have spent many hours examining the finish on timber of period structures in order to try and produce timbers with similar finishes--not easy to do, and I might say at times the finish that I had to produce sort of went against the grain, because the original timbers were not finished in the best manner, I am sure that many different people worked on the same frame, one in particular was a church frame that I examined, it appeared to me that the whole congregation worked producing the frame timbers. Some were real nice and others looked like beavers chewed on them.
One thing for certain that frame stood for over 100 years and would still be standing if the church itself had not folded.
As far as stradling the timber while trying to hew, in my opinion is not practical nor safe, but then this is only my opinion, but an opinion based on experience in the hewing field. People will try and work in many different ways, for better or worse, I do strive to try and show a style that I know for certain was practised, and to this end standing beside the log while hewing is a style portrayed in sketchings and tapestries, and paintings, and I might say taught to me through family history.
A while back on this thread there were posted pictures of a hewer working while standing on top of the work piece, this is definitely a style that would need to be taught by a very experienced tradesman or teacher for sure on account of the blade passing close to the hewer's feet.