If you are new to the world of Timber hewing – the term “hew” means converting log from its natural rounded state (i.e. the trunk of a tree) into timber with flat surfaces using axes.It is an ancient method dating back to medieval times for squaring beams for timber framing.
Different methods in each step of this process have been developed over time but the basics are still the same, i.e. to select a tree and fell it (I am also a forester so I undertake this personally) and then use a variety of axes to square the log.
After felling, the trunk is skidded or twitched (using a horse) out of the woods to a work site, The log is placed across bearers and stabilised using timber dogs or log dogs. A snap line is used to mark the section that will become the flat surface. Notches are created every two to three feet using a chopping axe and the pieces of wood can then be knocked off with an axe (a process known as juggling or joggling). Hewing is the last step in the process and is done using a broad axe.
Hand-hewn timber creates a beautiful surface which cannot be re-created by mechanical means.