Fiat Spot

Hew first face, move dogs and hew opposite face.

5. Hew the face with the broadax, then move the dogs to the other side of the log. Score and hew the second face.

are now on the bottom resting on the cross beams. He drives in the dogs again and chops two more flat spots on the top face of the log with his scoring ax. Next, with a large pair of dividers, he marks out a circle on each flat spot, as shown in the drawing. With a chalk line, he snaps two boundary lines tangent to the circles, as shown in the drawing, and snaps two plumb lines on each end of the log. Now he's ready to hew the first two faces. The axwork is the same for all four faces of the beam.

Scoring the Log

Standing on one end of the log, facing off to one side, Babcock chops out a vertical V-shaped notch in the side of the log, driving the scoring ax within '/« in. of the chalk boundary line. The ax enters the wood at a

60° angle to the length of the log. He starts the cut at the top of the log and works down toward the ground. A twist of the handle pops out a chip. After completing the first notch, he moves down the length of the log. spacing these scoring cuts a foot or more apart. Beginners, Babcock recommends, should space their scoring cuts closer—about 4 in. apart.

It's important that the scoring cuts are plumb. An experienced hewer can tell this by eye, but a beginner should check for plumb by dropping a plumb line down the V of the cut to make sure.

Once the log is scored along its entire length. Babcock uses the scoring ax to split off the wood between the scoring cuts to within '/* in. of the chalk boundary lines. On a large-diameter log, he'll drive wood or metal wedges into the log an inch from the boundary

Snap chalk line tangent to

top view

3. Chop flat spots at either end of the tog. With a compass, scribe a circle at either end of the log to mark the width of the beam. Snap a chalk Boo tangent to the circles to mark the hewn face of the betm. Drop a plumb line down each end of the log, and snap vertical lines.

Snap chalk line tangent to top view

3. Chop flat spots at either end of the tog. With a compass, scribe a circle at either end of the log to mark the width of the beam. Snap a chalk Boo tangent to the circles to mark the hewn face of the betm. Drop a plumb line down each end of the log, and snap vertical lines.

After scoring the log, split off the wood between the scoring cats.

Score along the log to within V« in. of the boundary line snapped along the top of the log. The ax should enter the wood at a 60° angle to the length of the log.

line to slab off the wood between scoring cuts.

Hewing With the Broadax

The broadax cleans up the rough face left by the scoring ax. Babcock's axes are old, with short handles 18 in. to 24 in. long. Broadaxes are beveled on one side only, like a chisel, and the other side is flat. In fact, a broadax is used much like a chisel to pare off the wood that the scoring ax missed. Not far from the head, the handle takes a sharp bend away from the flat side of the blade to allow clearance between the log and the hewer's hand.

Facing one end. Babcock straddles the log, his right leg splayed wide, so he can swing the ax between the log and his leg. On a large-diameter log he'll stand on

After scoring the log, split off the wood between the scoring cats.

Score along the log to within V« in. of the boundary line snapped along the top of the log. The ax should enter the wood at a 60° angle to the length of the log.

Scribe new marking circle at each end.

Snap new boundary lines.

6. Roll the log 90 onto one of the hewn faces, Mark new circles at each end of the log, and repeat steps 3,4 and 5 above.

Snap new plumb lines. ^

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