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Author Topic: Double bevel vs. single bevel broad axes?  (Read 4117 times)

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Offline ziggy

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Double bevel vs. single bevel broad axes?
« on: October 07, 2011, 07:53:49 am »
Hi there. I've been doing a lot of research regarding broad axes and hand hewing in the past several weeks, but there's a question I've come up against that I haven't received much information about.

I'm interested in learning some of the differences in technique when using a double bevel broad axe versus a single bevel version. Let me say now that I have basically no practical log hewing experience, but I plan on hewing several for the new home I am building next year.

What are the advantages to using a double bevel broad axe?

Any information is appreciated. Thanks!

Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: Double bevel vs. single bevel broad axes?
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2011, 09:15:52 am »
If you go to YouTube and enter the search "hewing" you will find lots of movies of people from all over the world doing hewing. All different methods and procedures.

One, in my opinion, good video about hewing is the one shot by "ourbarns" at this YouTube site:



He shot a conversation between Jack Sobon and Mike Beaudry at a TTRAG hewing demonstration in York, ME.

Also, you could get both of Mike Beaudry's books on hewing. I have them and have read them, and I was at that demonstration and it was a very good demo.

Good luck with your research.

Jim Rogers
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Offline zopi

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Re: Double bevel vs. single bevel broad axes?
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2011, 10:15:34 am »
Welcome to the world of the galoot...
While I do not have a large broadaxe, I have a small one with a single bevel, and i like it for its delicacy of cut...a broadaxe outside of combat, is a fairly delicate tool...I prefer the single bevel for its chisel action...seems easier to do a smoother cut to me.
This week we removed a huge norway maple from a sixteen nineeties plantation...where the house was built in 1893....and my helper got a 305 level introduction to timber frame construction, through my conversations with the owner....there exists a barn there circa 1810..a double corn crib barn with a breeze way and the remains of an original clapboard roof....the top sills of the structure are continuous hand hewn beams fifty five feet in length eight by twelve or so...and the main house is unique for several reasons...the most interesting is that the siding is not tapered...it is full thickess, and is let into the framing all the way around the house...awesome craftsmanship....the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation just about pees themselves over the place...
Lol...but I digress...
Point is, I started teaching my helper how to square a beam with an axe last night...he sure does appreciate the sawmill now....
Got Wood?
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Offline nebruks

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Re: Double bevel vs. single bevel broad axes?
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2011, 02:32:11 pm »
I use both types for hewing. I have GB 1900 Broad Axe (double beveled) and 250 years old (single beveled) "goosewing". I use double beveled for squaring and joggling (rough hewing). I leave about 1/2 inch for of wood to remove with "goosewing". You can't get that surface so flat with small double beveled broadaxe, you can with single beveled "goosewing".

Here is a vid where I am using those both types of axes:


Offline ziggy

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Re: Double bevel vs. single bevel broad axes?
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2011, 10:35:45 pm »
Thanks for the replies. I'm understanding more nuances over time.

nebruks: love your video!