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  • #31
    For carving really soft woods like wesrtern red cedar and yellow cedar, maybe even fresh alder, the best bevel angle for me is 12 degrees,
    up as high as 15 degrees but no more. I do the adze and draw knife blades all at 25 degrees.

    I had not seen Jay Hawkins site before. Thanks. I have little faith in bladesmiths outside the Pacific Northwest. Funny how he shows a D adze made from an axe head.
    Rare to see one cut in half for that. Truck leaf springe are easier to cut and work.

    Gregg Blomberg (Kestrel) worked with the late Bill Holm in the development of the blades and handles.
    Holm was the "analytical guy." Northwest Coast Indian Art is as dry to read as the whole coast is wet from rain!
    The yellow and black whipping on my elbow adze is not just for looks.
    The upper break marks your hand position. , the "Holm Constant" . It's a 90 degee place coming off the bevel of the blade.
    Obviously, you can hold where you like. For all day work, it marks a swivel point.

    OTOH, the "Kestrel Constant" is handle size. Palm up, fist grip on the handle, your second and third fingertips should just touch the fat ball-part of your thumb.
    I experimented with that, making a number of different handles. For me, I need to start with a handle blank which is 7/8" square and round that down.
    Same applies to the elbow and D adze handles. The rest of the wood can be any size.

    I would not hesitate any more to knock off any handle which is the wrong size and make my own. I've done that.
    Or, you can change what you have. "Vet-Wrap" bandage is a great way to fatten up a handle to see if that's what you need.
    Even the #18 tarred nylon seine cord and the yellow do add a significant amount to the handle sizes.
    The brown is some dacron that I was given. Too slippery for hand grips, OK for cosmetic wrappings.
    Brian T


    • #32
      When I'm in the market for an adze, I'm going to talk to you RV. The Stubai and Pfeil an those like them look so darn overbuilt and clumsy to me, just by glancing it seems like the Pac NW design would be miles ahead. The irony is that I generally consider Pfeil gouges to be of the right weight and approach vs some other designers which I won't name but think make clumsy gouges.


      • #33
        I'll only be too glad to help. The Sitka elbow adze has the versatility. The D adze really makes me think about my carving.
        There's a carver in Haines, Alaska who calls the Kestrel Sitka elbow adze a "bandsaw on a stick." That's a fair judgement.

        I took up the Pacific Northwest First Nations style of carving tools to learn how and why they are so different from common gouges.
        There's nothing crude or simplistic about any of the designs at all. Many things I cannot do with gouges.
        Carve a deep dish with straight flat insides and a flat bottom. No big deal.
        Brian T