Log dogs, peaveys, cant hooks, wedges, single and double bit axes and other log-handling equipment:
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he moves backward in a crouch, until he's hewn the entire face of the log.
It's important to keep the hewn face plumb. "A tobacco chewer makes a good hewer," says Babcock. "You can tell whether the hewn face is plumb or not by the way a stream of juice runs down the face."
"What about adzes," I asked? "If you do a good hewing job, you don't need to adze," he replied. But Babcock says he's seen old beams that were adzed after scoring instead of hewn with a broadax. Why? "Hewing is hard on your back. You don't need to bend over to use an adze." Some things never change.
When the first face is finished, Babcock moves the dogs to the opposite side of the log and scores and hews the opposite face. When he's hewn both faces, he rolls the log 90°, scribes two new marking circles on the top of the log and repeats the scoring and hewing process on the third and fourth faces.
Hewn posts or sills can be square in section (8 in. x 8 in.. 10 in. x 10 in.) but a beam that has to span a distance should be twice as high in cross section as it is wide (i.e., 6 in.x 12 in., 8 in.x 16 in., and so on). According to Babcock, these proportions provide the optimum combination of strength vs. weight. A
Richard Babcock mows and restores early-period barns and has built a barn museum in Hancock, Massachu-settes where he lives. His business address is P.O. Box 484. Williams/own. MA 01267. David Sloan is editor of AMERICAN WOODWORKER.
Air an Heirloom on This Windsor-Style Stand
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