curved adze

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curved adze

Postby robin wood » Sun Dec 07, 2008 8:49 pm

This is an adze, it is just like an axe but the cutting edge is at 90 degrees to the handle.

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Adzes come either with straight blades for creating flat surfaces or curved ones for hollowing. This is a very old one I bought in Romania in 1998 and works exceedingly well. I use it every time I make a plate to hollow a little of the wood before I start turning. Curved adzes are very hard to come by in the UK but straight ones are quite common. I have a few old rusty straight ones and really need one with quite a deep hollow for hollowing the gutters I want to make for my new barn. So today I spent the morning in the forge.

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Beginning to take shape

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And this is the curve I was trying to achieve.

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And after finishing forging. The next stages are; annealing, to make it as soft as possible, grinding, to refine the edge shape, hardening then tempering.

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I had never understood why hand forged adzes were so much more expensive than axes when they look fairly similar. I had not realised the complexities of creating those two even curves in two planes and if either curve is just not perfect the tool will not work properly. I hope mine works OK.
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Re: curved adze

Postby gavin » Sun Dec 07, 2008 10:59 pm

This looks like fun!
Would you recommend grinding off the rust-pitting before or after forging the 2 curves?
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Re: curved adze

Postby Tomio Imaru » Sun Jan 25, 2009 3:33 pm

I have now two long handled adzes ( we say it Chouna in Japanese). But I do not have short handled adzes for carving.
As you know, the Japanese hand tools are not cheep.

I found a good idea! So I decided to divert a pickaxe into the adze.
Here, a small pickaxe costs 7 or 8 pounds. And it's blade is made of steel.
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Today I tried the adze, chopped an oak ( Japanese oak like hard wood ), and no problems, no blade troubles.

But the balance is not quite good.
Next time I will try the second ones, short length of the blade and shallower curve.
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Re: curved adze

Postby nellybelly » Mon Dec 13, 2010 4:57 pm

Hi Robin

Did the adze get finished?

I've been given a couple of 2lb ball pein hammer heads and am going to have a go at forging them out into a couple of bowl adze's, is there any thing i should be doing out of the norm to make it work?

I'm no blacksmith but have manged to make a few bowl hooks and a couple knife blades and found it very enjoyable.

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Re: curved adze

Postby ulfhedinn » Mon Dec 13, 2010 5:52 pm

Robin, Tomio--thank you both for the pictures and it's always good to see ingenuity in converting tools. It's been an ironworking tradition for over three thousand years! Please let us know how the tools work out--Robin's curves and Tomio's rebalancing.

As for the hammer conversions, I have three claw hammers I'm converting into bowl adzes. One thing I like to do is to experiment on the pein end of each hammer--the claws, the ball, whatever--with heat treating. That way I can discover whether the steel is oil or water hardening, and what color gives the temper I want. If a crack happens, it may be far enough away (or even have been on a portion to be cut away!) so that I can still use what I learned on the end that will become an adze blade. This could also be done with the cut-away part of Tomio's pick.

This takes the guesswork out of wondering what sort of steel the manufacturer was using that year. Even a single factory may change their alloy without changing their dies--without hardening tests you haven't a clue.

Again, thanks to both of you for posting, and I look forward to followups!

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Re: curved adze

Postby jrccaim » Tue Dec 14, 2010 4:22 am

I second ulfheddin's comments. I'd like to see Imaru-san's rebalance, and I really want to see how Robin's adze turns out.
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Re: curved adze

Postby Steve_Kubien » Tue Dec 14, 2010 7:15 pm

I have had an old pick-axe for a few years and my intention has always been to make a bowl adze. Lack of a forge has kind of slowed me down.

Imaru-san, for some reason I cannot view your pictures. Is it just me? Also, the oak you spoke of, was it shiro-kashi? It has been explained ot me as being Japanese white oak. Amazing wood with a long history of being used in making weapons for martial arts. All of my weapons are of shiro-kashi and I wouldn't trade them for anything.

Be well,
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Re: curved adze

Postby jarrod stonedahl » Fri Dec 17, 2010 8:25 am

robin
is that a standard carpenter's foot adze...size wise? i do have a few and seeing that hand adzing timbers is back breaking work, which i really don't want to do again, i might just reforge one of them...great idea. Do you think the romanian adze was reforged from a straight adze or made from scratch?
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Re: curved adze

Postby Tomio Imaru » Mon Dec 20, 2010 3:42 am

Hi, honestly speaking I don't rebalance the adze yet.
but I forget another small light one.
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After forged the first curved adze I found that the curve of blade would be shaped in accordance with the stroke.
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And also needed a relative weight on its head, I think.

To make a good quality blade, I need a larger hearth.
Hi, Steve
There is a discussion about what the proper wood corresponding with oak.
You say the shiro-kashi or shira-kashi is ever green tree(quercus myrsinaefolia). And for its quite useful property Japanese farmers planted in the garden traditionally.

And I think the proper tree is nara(quercus mongolica var. grosseserrata) or kunugi(quercus acutissima), they are deciduous.

And these wood has remarcable rays and tannin.
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Re: curved adze

Postby jrccaim » Tue Dec 21, 2010 4:54 am

Steve_Kubien wrote:I have had an old pick-axe for a few years and my intention has always been to make a bowl adze. Lack of a forge has kind of slowed me down.
Imaru-san, for some reason I cannot view your pictures. Is it just me?
Steve


If you cannot view a picture, it is probably because they are in a format your web browser cannot understand. There are so many graphic formats that it rivals the patterns of hook tools! GIFs, TIFFs, PNGs, JPGs, RGBs, BMPs, ... ad nauseam. From the symptoms I can't tell what's going on, and you probably have Windows, which I despise. However, it's all the same thing in the end: update your system. You may need a DLL (Windows-ese) for the format in question. I have no trouble viewing Imaru-san's images, and my system is six years old. But then, it ain't Windows. Ain't Mac either, but Macs are a lot more cooperative on graphic formats.

As for forges, do search this forum for alternative forges. Buying one costs a bundle, I agree. To do a pickaxe you need a lot of Joules (or BTUs if you prefer) but a charcoal grill and a hair-dryer tuyere is well within reason. Need lots of coals to do a pick-axe. The classic Alaska forge is a brake drum, preferably off a big truck, and some steel plumbing pipe 2" for a tuyere; a welded/bolted/wired frame for the thing. Can't use duct (gaffer) tape on a forge, I'm afraid. A saying from my own Karate experience(some time ago!): warrior, use weapon at hand.
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Re: curved adze

Postby smokeybaconfact » Thu Jan 20, 2011 9:59 pm

anyone thought about modifying the hoe that amazon sells? sharpen it and cut the handle?

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Silverline-GT52 ... 741&sr=8-3
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Re: curved adze

Postby rogerspianocat » Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:59 pm

I have a digging hoe (azada) similar to that one, and while it's extremely good for digging, I'm sure the steel would need attention to make it hard enough to hold an edge.
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Re: curved adze

Postby RichardLaw » Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:35 am

Needs to be high carbon steel for tools.
To test for carbon steel: heat to cherry red, quench in water, try to file - if the file just skids the steel is hardened and has a good carbon content, if you can file it then this steel is not for tools.
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Re: curved adze

Postby riptoff » Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:04 pm

You can buy similar small curved adzes from Tools for Self-reliance Crickhowell. I bought one recently with a blade about 3cm across and a radius of about 2cm. They are made in Tanzania from old truck half-shafts.
Crickhowell is about 20m south of Brockhampton (the AGM site)
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Re: curved adze

Postby witt » Sun Apr 24, 2011 10:32 am

Nice gutter adze, long handle - blade + pole = 30 cm - price 20 euros on french ebay http://cgi.ebay.fr/OUTIL-ANCIEN-HERMINE ... 1c1b2b1672
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