An adze ( // ; alternative spelling: adz) is an ancient and versatile cutting tool similar to an axe but with the cutting edge perpendicular to the handle rather than parallel. They have been used since the Stone Age. Adzes are used for smoothing or carving wood in hand woodworking, and as a hoe for agriculture and horticulture. Two basic forms of an adze are the hand adze (short hoe) —a short handled tool swung with one hand— and the foot adze (hoe) —a long handled tool capable of powerful swings using both hands, the cutting edge usually striking at foot or shin level. A similar tool is called a mattock, which differs by having two blades, one perpendicular to the handle and one parallel.
The adze is depicted in ancient Egyptian art from the Old Kingdom onward.Originally the adze blades were made of stone, but already in the Predynastic Period copper adzes had all but replaced those made of flint. While stone blades were fastened to the wooden handle by tying, metal blades had sockets into which the handle was fitted. Examples of Egyptian adzes can be found in museums and on the Petrie Museum website.
A depiction of an adze was also used as a hieroglyph, representing the consonants stp, "chosen", and used as: ...Pharaoh XX, chosen of God/Goddess YY...
The ahnetjer (Manuel de Codage transliteration: aH-nTr) depicted as an adze-like instrument,was used in the Opening of the Mouth ceremony, intended to convey power over their senses to statues and mummies. It was apparently the foreleg of a freshly sacrificed bull or cow with which the mouth was touched.
As Iron Age technology moved south into Africa with migrating ancient Egyptians[ citation needed ], they carried their technology with them, including adzes. To this day, iron adzes are used all over rural Africa for various purposes - from digging pit latrines, and chopping firewood, to tilling crop fields - whether they are of maize (corn), coffee, tea, pyrethrum, beans, Millett, yams or a plethora of other cash and subsistence crops.
Prehistoric Māori adzes from New Zealand (called toki in Māori) were for wood carving, typically made from pounamu sourced from the South Island.During the Māori Archaic period found on the North Island were commonly made from greywacke from Motutapu Island or basalt from Ōpito Bay in the Coromandel, similar to adzes constructed on other Pacific Islands. Early period notched adzes found in Northland were primarily made of argillite quarried from locations around the Marlborough and Nelson regions. At the same time on Henderson Island, a small coral island in eastern Polynesia lacking any rock other than limestone, native populations may have fashioned giant clamshells into adzes.
American Northwest coast native peoples traditionally used adzes for both functional construction (from bowls to canoes) and art (from masks to totem poles). Northwest coast adzes take two forms: hafted and D-handle. The hafted form is similar in form to a European adze with the haft constructed from a natural crooked branch which approximately forms a 60% angle. The thin end is used as the handle and the thick end is flattened and notched such that an adze iron can be lashed to it. Modern hafts are sometimes constructed from a sawed blank with a dowel added for strength at the crook. The second form is the D-handle adze which is basically an adze iron with a directly attached handle. The D-handle, therefore, provides no mechanical leverage. Northwest coast adzes are often classified by size and iron shape vs. role. As with European adzes, iron shapes include straight, gutter and lipped. Where larger Northwest adzes are similar in size to their European counterparts, the smaller sizes are typically much lighter such that they can be used for the detailed smoothing, shaping and surface texturing required for figure carving. Final surfacing is sometimes performed with a crooked knife.[ citation needed ]
Ground stone adzes are still in use by a variety of people in Irian Jaya (Indonesia), Papua New Guinea and some of the smaller Islands of Melanesia and Micronesia. The hardstone is ground on a riverine rock with the help of water until it has got the desired shape. It is then fixed to a natural grown angled wood with resin and plant fibers. The shape and manufacture of these adzes is similar to those found from the Neolithic Stone Age in Europe. A variety of minerals are used. Their everyday use is on a steady decline, as it is much more convenient to cut firewood using imported steel axes or machetes. However, certain ceremonial crafts such as making canoes, ceremonial shields, masks, drums, containers or communal houses etc. may require the use of traditional-made stone adzes.
Modern adzes are made from steel with wooden handles, and enjoy limited use: occasionally in semi-industrial areas, but particularly by "revivalists" such as those at the Colonial Williamsburg cultural center in Virginia, USA. However, the traditional adze has largely been replaced by the sawmill and the powered-plane, at least in industrialised cultures. It remains in use for some specialist crafts, for example by coopers. Adzes are also in current use by artists such as Northwest Coast American and Canadian Indian sculptors doing pole work, masks and bowls.
"Adzes are used for removing heavy waste, leveling, shaping, or trimming the surfaces of timber..."and boards. Generally, the user stands astride a board or log and swings the adze downwards between his feet, chipping off pieces of wood, moving backwards as they go and leaving a relatively smooth surface behind.
Foot adzes are most commonly known as shipbuilder's or carpenter's adzes. They range in size from 00 to 5 being 3+1/4 to 4+3/4 pounds (1.5–2.2 kg) with the cutting edge 3 to 4+1/2 inches (75–115 mm) wide. On the modern, steel adze the cutting edge may be flat for smoothing work to very rounded for hollowing work such as bowls, gutters and canoes. The shoulders or sides of an adze may be curved called a lipped adze, used for notching. The end away from the cutting edge is called the pole and be of different shapes, generally flat or a pin pole.
A statue of the third dynasty boat builder Ankhwah is showing him holding an adze
A pole weapon or pole arm is a close combat weapon in which the main fighting part of the weapon is fitted to the end of a long shaft, typically of wood, thereby extending the user's effective range and striking power. Pole weapons are predominantly melee weapons, with a subclass of spear-like designs fit for both thrusting and throwing. Because many pole weapons were adapted from agricultural implements or other tools in fairly large amount of abundance, and contain relatively little metal, they were cheap to make and readily available. When warfare breaks out and the belligerents have a poorer class who cannot pay for dedicated weapons made for war, military leaders often resort to the appropriation of tools as cheap weapons. The cost of training was minimal, since these conscripted farmers had spent most of their lives in the familiar use of these "weapons" in the fields. This made polearms the favored weapon of peasant levies and peasant rebellions the world over.
A broadaxe is a large-(broad) headed axe. There are two categories of cutting edge on broadaxes, both are used for shaping logs by hewing. On one type, one side is flat and the other side beveled, a basilled edge, also called a side axe, single bevel, or chisle-edged axe. On the other type, both sides are beveled, sometimes called a double bevel axe, which produces a scalloped cut. On the basilled broadaxe the handle may curve away from the flat side to allow an optimal stance by the hewer in relation to the hewn surface. The flat blade is to make the flat surface but can only be worked from one direction and are right-handed or left-handed. The double bevel axe has a straight handle can be swung with either side against the wood. A double beveled broad axe can be used for chopping or notching and hewing. When used for hewing, a notch is chopped in the side of the log down to a marked line, called scoring. The pieces of wood between these notches are removed with an axe called joggling and then the remaining wood is chopped away to the line.
In woodworking, hewing is the process of converting a log from its rounded natural form into lumber (timber) with more or less flat surfaces using primarily an axe. It is an ancient method, and before the advent of the industrial-era type of sawmills, it was a standard way of squaring up wooden beams for timber framing. Today it is still used occasionally for that purpose by anyone who has logs, needs beams, and cannot or would prefer not to pay for finished lumber. Thus homesteaders on frugal budgets, for example, may hew their own lumber rather than buy it.
A chisel is a tool with a characteristically shaped cutting edge of blade on its end, for carving or cutting a hard material such as wood, stone, or metal by hand, struck with a mallet, or mechanical power. The handle and blade of some types of chisel are made of metal or of wood with a sharp edge in it.
A saw is a tool consisting of a tough blade, wire, or chain with a hard toothed edge. It is used to cut through material, very often wood though sometimes metal or stone. The cut is made by placing the toothed edge against the material and moving it forcefully forth and less forcefully back or continuously forward. This force may be applied by hand, or powered by steam, water, electricity or other power source. An abrasive saw has a powered circular blade designed to cut through metal or ceramic.
A mattock is a hand tool used for digging, prying, and chopping. Similar to the pickaxe, it has a long handle and a stout head which combines either a vertical axe blade with a horizontal adze, or a pick and an adze. A cutter mattock is similar to a Pulaski. It is also commonly known in North America as a "grub axe".
A hoe is an ancient and versatile agricultural and horticultural hand tool used to shape soil, remove weeds, clear soil, and harvest root crops. Shaping the soil includes piling soil around the base of plants (hilling), digging narrow furrows (drills) and shallow trenches for planting seeds or bulbs. Weeding with a hoe includes agitating the surface of the soil or cutting foliage from roots, and clearing soil of old roots and crop residues. Hoes for digging and moving soil are used to harvest root crops such as potatoes.
In archeology, a uniface is a specific type of stone tool that has been flaked on one surface only. There are two general classes of uniface tools: modified flakes—and formalized tools, which display deliberate, systematic modification of the marginal edges, evidently formed for a specific purpose.
A shoe-last celt is a long thin polished stone tool for felling trees and woodworking, characteristic of the early Neolithic Linearbandkeramik and Hinkelstein cultures, also called Danubian I in the older literature.
In archaeology and anthropology, a digging stick, or sometimes yam stick, is a wooden implement used primarily by subsistence-based cultures to dig out underground food such as roots and tubers or burrowing animals and anthills. The stick may also have other uses in hunting or general domestic tasks.
A battle axe is an axe specifically designed for combat. Battle axes were specialized versions of utility axes. Many were suitable for use in one hand, while others were larger and were deployed two-handed.
A pickaxe, pick-axe, or pick is a generally T-shaped hand tool used for prying. Its head is typically metal, attached perpendicularly to a longer handle, traditionally made of wood, occasionally metal, and increasingly fiberglass.
A froe, shake axe or paling knife is a tool for cleaving wood by splitting it along the grain. It is an L-shaped tool, used by hammering one edge of its blade into the end of a piece of wood in the direction of the grain, then twisting the blade in the wood by rotating the haft (handle).
A wedge is a triangular shaped tool, and is a portable inclined plane, and one of the six simple machines. It can be used to separate two objects or portions of an object, lift up an object, or hold an object in place. It functions by converting a force applied to its blunt end into forces perpendicular (normal) to its inclined surfaces. The mechanical advantage of a wedge is given by the ratio of the length of its slope to its width. Although a short wedge with a wide angle may do a job faster, it requires more force than a long wedge with a narrow angle.
Japanese carpentry was developed more than a millennium ago through Chinese architectural influences such as Ancient Chinese wooden architecture and uses woodworking joints. It involves building wooden furniture without the use of nails, screws, glue or electric tools.
A billhook or bill hook is a versatile cutting tool used widely in agriculture and forestry for cutting woody material such as shrubs, small trees and branches and is distinct from the sickle. It was commonly used in Europe with an important variety of traditional local patterns. Elsewhere, it was also developed locally such as in the Indian subcontinent, or introduced regionally as in the Americas, South Africa and Oceania by European settlers.
An axe is an implement that has been used for millennia to shape, split and cut wood, to harvest timber, as a weapon, and as a ceremonial or heraldic symbol. The axe has many forms and specialised uses but generally consists of an axe head with a handle, or helve.
A twybil is a hand tool used for green woodworking. It is used for chopping out mortises when timber framing, or making smaller pieces such as gates. It combines chopping and levering functions in a single tool.
Carpenter's axes or Carpenter's hatchets are small axes, usually slightly larger than a hatchet, used in traditional woodwork, joinery and log-building. They have pronounced beards and finger notches to allow a "choked" grip for precise control.