Hewing or broadaxe -where is the difference?

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    Maybe this isnt really Paul Sellers type of woodworking but as tool restorer i get requested a lot to find particular items and restore them
    but i know wery little about timber framing tools
    could somebody tell me where the diference between hewing and broadaxe?
    what kind of axe is in this picture ?
    Its not straight if i hold it straight the blade kind bends to right side but its made so with intention

    PS: dont really know if timber framing is discussed in this forum
    THANKS in advance

    Matt McGrane

    I read something last year about broad axes and hewing axes, but I don’t remember the difference. I can’t find the book. Maybe try googling the topic.

    Matt, Northern California - Started a blog in 2016: http://tinyshopww.blogspot.com/

    Salko Safic

    That is the Axe I’m going to buy from LN I think it is, but you use this Axe instead of a saw. It works like sort of planing to straighten the edges, I’ve seen an episode on Roy Uniderhill’s show I can’t remember which country he was in where they used this Axe for timber framing. They never used a saw it was a sign of bad craftsmanship.

    The Lost Scrolls of HANDWORK
    (Hand tool only woodworking magazine)

    Peter George

    A smaller, modern version:

    Peter in
    Biggar SK
    "New York is big, but this is Biggar"


    Tool geek warning! 🙂 Axes, like planes, come with different shapes and weights for different purposes.

    It used to be that the best way to get a timber to frame with, was to start onsite with a tree. One kind of axe to cut it down, another to limb it, then the squaring starts. First, snap a chalk line. Then make cuts from the outside of the tree up to the line every foot or so. That leaves a bunch of notches. Then split off the wood between the notches, and smooth the face of the log. Only three more to go and there is a timber. One kind of axe cuts cross-grain to make the notch. The the broad-axe splits off the chunks and smooths the surface with cross-grain paring cuts. The broadaxe is very heavy, single-bevel, and either the handle or the axe is angled to give clearance between the log and the hands. In use it is more dropped than swung. The process of using the brodaxe is called “hewing to the line” in some places. Dialects may vary. Your pictures are, I am pretty sure, a broadaxe.
    Restoring it will be difficult because of the rust on the one face.
    Here are some pics of one of my broad hatchets (or carpenter’s axe), used in a similar way on a smaller scale. The edge on mine is about 4 – 5 inches. I like the single bevel for control compared to a regular double-bevel axe. Yes it matters if you are right or left-handed with these.


    Thank You for Information,
    Learned a lot from you guys!
    yes restoring was hard and rust is removed but it left permanent marks on metal surface,i thought about sanding it down but when i checked hardness of that piece with file–no chance thats at least 60-65 HRC, it will take forever to dig into metal and i will ruin its temper,so i will leave it as it is. from the other side i like to leave it that way so people can see that tool is very old, and how amazing piece of craftsmanship was it 200 years ago ,and can still be razor sharp after i cleaned it up 🙂

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