To honour the memory of John Argo



A Life Well Lived


John Argo (A Lumberjack) Shows How


Squared Timbers Were Made

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First, a series of notches, all equally deep, are chopped with an axe about 30 cm apart. They show how much wood to remove on that side. Here, outrigger stakes are nailed on to the log to stabilize it.

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One by one, sections between notches are broken away with a heavy axe, and then a broadaxe keeps the edge level. Finally the surface is smoothed with an adze.

With one side done, the log has to be rotated 90 degrees. A canthook is needed to level the log into position, with pieces of wood to wedge it in place.

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That done, at every notch break away the wood with the heavy axe and begin the steps again until there is another smooth surface. Repeat two or more times to have all four sides squared.