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How to Hand Hew Beams | Hand Hewing Styles

Master woodworker Roy Watson joins Gary Campbell for a conversation regarding a unique log order featuring the ancient craft of hand hewn wood. They discuss what differentiates the antique style from the scallop style and just what wood profiles you can apply hand hewing to.





Gary & Roy Discuss the Stylistic Differences between Hand Hewn Techniques, Antique and Scalloped

Gary Campbell: We’re here with Roy Watson and today he’s been doing a hand hewn log order for us—antique style versus scallop. He’s almost done with this job. So we’re just here talking about it.

Roy Watson: It’s been a pleasure doing it. The years that I’ve worked for you, I’ve certainly enjoyed it.

Gary Campbell: Roy, whether it comes to logs or post and beam, or siding or even trim, tongue and groove or shiplap, can any of that be hand hewn?

Roy Watson: Yes. I have hewn a half inch by four inch pieces for window trim.

Gary Campbell: So, could you show us how the scallop style goes?

Roy Watson: I can, yeah.

Gary Campbell: So that’s the antique hand hewn style. This is for the scallop, a different style.

Gary Campbell: You can really see the difference with the scallop style. It looks almost like potato chips slices being knocked off the surface. Whereas when you use the antique adze, it looks more flat, choppy, and splintery. It’s definitely much more rugged using the antique adze versus the scallop.

Roy Watson: Yeah. Back in a hundred years ago, they didn’t have saw mills. So for their logs, they split them with a wedge and they squared them up with the foot adze. And that’s where they got this look from.

Gary Campbell: Folks, if you want hand hewing, you can have it. You know, we offer that. We could do it on anything you want as far as wood goes.

Roy Watson: I’m available to do it. All you have to do is place the order and I’ll do the best I can do every home. Just like I’m going to live in it myself.



An example of a hand hewn beam used as a mantel.

Other Examples of Hand Hewn Beams



Hand Hewn Dovetail 🕊 Corners are a Reliance Timber speciality! The process includes cutting and shaping wood with hard blows using a heavy cutting instrument, such as an ax or chisel. At Reliance Timber, we have two experienced masters (Abel & Roy) who work with different hand hewn techniques to make unique, top quality products for our clients.



Looking for texture and an added element of interest to the siding of your home? Our Scalloped Hand-Hewn Siding is the perfect solution


Check out all the other products that Reliance Timber offers.